Now that medical marijuana is legal in Missouri, the perception surrounding cannabis use is evolving. We are starting to see positive changes to the legal landscape in regards to those who have been convicted of nonviolent marijuana-related offenses.
The legal marijuana industry in Missouri is booming with over 140,000 state residents in possession of their medical marijuana card. The cannabis industry brought in more than two hundred million dollars during the first year that dispensaries were open, and revenue continues to grow. While entrepreneurs are raking in the cash, and millions in cannabis taxes are being collected, it doesn’t make sense for those convicted of marijuana-related crimes to be stuck paying the price.
Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Landscape is Constantly Changing
We are in the beginnings of a new era of legal marijuana in Missouri and across the United States. Because of this, laws and regulations concerning cannabis are constantly being updated. Many are eagerly waiting for updates to the ongoing legislative efforts to pass recreational cannabis in Missouri. But for now, medical marijuana is the only way to legally possess cannabis in the state.
As the cannabis industry grows and evolves, many who committed nonviolent marijuana-related crimes feel stuck in the past. The good news is that there are people working to fix these issues, such as the Canna Convict Project, a non-profit that works to try to release those who are serving time for victimless cannabis-related crimes, to get records expunged, and to help with reintegration to society.
Kansas City Mayor Pardoning Missourians Convicted of Cannabis Possession
Kansas City is seeing some progressive change for those with a cannabis possession charge on their record. The office of mayor Quinton Lucas is offering to pardon anyone who has been convicted of a municipal marijuana possession offense.
To be clear, this offer of a pardon is only for those convicted of a municipal offense. The mayor’s office doesn’t have the authority to pardon those convicted in a county or federal courthouse. If you have a cannabis possession on your record, taking a quick look at the paperwork can tell you if you’re eligible. If your case number starts with the letter “G” or the letter “N,” that typically indicates that your offense was municipal and therefore eligible for pardon.
The mayor spoke to the Kansas City Beacon and stated that his staff was hoping to plan expungement workshops to help those convicted of marijuana crimes to seal their records. No prior nonviolent cannabis conviction should follow you around, making it more difficult to get a job or pass a background check.
Here’s How to Get Your Kansas City Cannabis Conviction Pardoned
It is important to note that, if your marijuana crime was more than simple possession, you may have a harder time getting a pardon. If you were convicted of distribution or if your crime was violent, there is no guarantee that you’ll be approved. At this time, the mayor has only promised to pardon low-level possession offenses. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still apply and state your case.
To apply for a pardon, the mayor’s office has created an online form that needs to be filled out. You will need the case number from your prior conviction. If you no longer have your paperwork, you can CLICK HERE to request your arrest report. If your conviction is older than 15 years, the records may take longer to retrieve.
Once you have your case number, you can visit the Kansas City municipal website to fill out a form to request your pardon.
A Pardon is NOT the same as Expungement
It is important to note the differences between a mayoral pardon and the complete expungement from your criminal records. An expungement means the conviction no longer exists on your record. If your record has been expunged, it will appear as if the conviction never happened, and it won’t show up on a background check. Those who have a pardon may still find themselves facing the consequences of a cannabis conviction, because it remains on their record.
A pardon waives all outstanding fines, which is helpful if you still owe any outstanding fees. However, many people convicted of a marijuana crime have to pay in ways other than fines, by having the conviction remain on their record. This can affect them by limiting their career opportunities and even the type of housing they can get approved for.
Any time a person has to pass a background check, the conviction could still appear. Many background check companies only look at criminal convictions and don’t look at pardon records. When a potential landlord or prospective employer sees this charge on a background check, they will still have the option of denying that person employment or housing.
The mayor’s pardon is a nice gesture, but it only goes so far when it comes to stating your case to those who already have a negative perception of cannabis use. It is nice to see progress when it comes to giving people their lives back. Cannabis is legal. There is no reason anyone convicted of a nonviolent marijuana-related crime should still be paying the price.
Ready for Legal, Natural Relief?
If you are ready to experience the natural relief that cannabis provides, all you need is your Missouri medical marijuana card. If you don’t have your card yet, we can help you with that. Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana physician online by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!