Gov-Elect Considering Using Clemency Powers to Free Those Incarcerated for Marijuana-Related Convictions

Michigan Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer (D) speaks at a campaign event in 2018.

LANSING, MI — Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer (D) says that she will pursue executive action to free those incarcerated for certain marijuana-related violations and to expunge the records of those with past convictions.

Whitmer, who endorsed Michigan’s adult use legalization initiative, defeated Republican candidate Bill Schuette. The initiative becomes law ten days after the midterm election results are certified.

“For conduct that would now we considered legal, no one should bear a lifetime record,” Whitmer said at a news conference. “We will start taking a look at that and taking actions early next year.”

Several other states — including CaliforniaDelawareMassachusettsMarylandOregon, and Rhode Island— have enacted expungement laws following the passage of either marijuana decriminalization or legalization.

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