Pot petition drive turns to old crimes

Marijuana plant. (Photo/NBC News)
Marijuana plant. (Photo/NBC News)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A group that’s behind a marijuana legalization effort say it’s collecting signatures for a proposal to establish a process for purging old pot-related convictions.

The so-called Fresh Start Act calls for reviewing and expunging criminal records of people with previous marijuana convictions, if those offenses would no longer be considered illegal under the legalization effort.

ResponsibleOhio, the group backing a proposal to legalize marijuana, considers its initiated statute to expunge peoples’ records as the next step in its efforts.

The group must collect some 92,000 valid signatures by year’s end in order to put the issue before state lawmakers next year. Legislators would need to act within the first four months of 2016 or supporters would have the option to put the question to voters next fall.

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