Missouri courts need state funds to expunge marijuana convictions by deadline: ‘It’s a mammoth task’Posted by On

After three months of looking through old marijuana charges, Boone County Circuit Court Clerk Christy Blakemore — along with clerks and judges around the state — has come to a realization.

There’s no quick way to wipe those records clean.

And it’s going to take a lot more money for overtime to go through the mountain of expungements in Boone County by summertime.

“It’s just tough to get much progress on it during regular working hours,” Blakemore said. “If we don’t get an additional appropriation (from the state legislature), then I would fear that a lot of us aren’t going to make the deadlines.”

A huge selling point for those who voted for marijuana legalization, which appeared on the ballot in November as Amendment 3, was the automatic expungement provision — meaning people who have already served their sentences for past charges don’t have to petition the court and go through a hearing to expunge those charges from their records.

The courts must locate their records and make it as if their past marijuana charges never existed.

Like other clerks around the state, Blakemore’s team is trying to meet the deadlines outlined in the constitutional amendment: All marijuana-related misdemeanors must be expunged by June 8 and felonies by Dec. 8.

State court authorities have asked legislators to approve $2.5 million in a supplemental budget for circuit clerks to be able to pay their employees…

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