Expungement, a major criminal justice reform announced during the recent white paper on cannabis reform, won’t only apply for weed but for all former crimes that have since been decriminalised.
“Government believes that past errors should not lead to present stigmatisation and lost opportunities,” the White Paper reads.
“It is being proposed that crimes which are no longer considered as such at law should be removed from one’s conduct certificate by means of a simple procedure.”
Lawyer Alex Scerri Herrera, who worked on the White Paper, confirmed this principle during an interview on Lovin Daily this morning.
“For example, following the 2015 [drug law reform], people caught in possession of two ecstasy pills are no longer subject to criminal proceedings. Therefore, if you were caught with a single pill in the 90s, you can ask for this to be expunged from your criminal records.”
“It’s a policy for people not to be unfairly judged on something which is no longer illegal.”
This will also mean that once loitering for prostitution is decriminalised, as has been proposed, people who were convicted of this offence will be able to wipe their criminal records clean.
During today’s interview, Scerri Herrera urged the general public to participate in the upcoming six-week cannabis public consultation process, noting that there’s still a lot of room for change.
This will crucially include a decision on where people will be able to purchase cannabis from, with Scerri Herrera confirming social clubs, coffeeshops and dispensaries are all being looked at as potential options.
Following the public consultation period, the government is also expected to decide whether to impose a threshold for how many grams of cannabis can be stored at any given moment from plants grown at home.
And while people found with 7g or less of cannabis on their person will no longer be arrested and interrogated, a decision is yet to be taken on whether police will still be empowered to confiscate the plant.
Submissions for public consultation for the cannabis reform can be sent through [email protected] by 11th May.
Do you agree with the concept of expungement?