Greens announce they will erase criminal records for cannabis possession

Australian Greens

As part of a package supporting the legalisation of cannabis the Greens NSW have today announced their commitment to expunge all past and current convictions for cannabis possession.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson, David Shoebridge said: “Tens of thousands of people in NSW alone are living with the legacy of a criminal conviction for possessing a substance that is legal in many different countries around the world.

“Erasing these convictions will remove the unjust stigma of a criminal record, that can stop people traveling overseas, getting a job or renting a house.

“In the past ten years of 43,000 people in NSW have been convicted of a possession offence involving cannabis,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Figures obtained by the Greens’ from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show from October 2017 to September 2018, 32 individuals received a sentence of imprisonment after being found guilty of a possession offence related to cannabis (where possession was the sole or most serious offence).

To ensure that every person who has a historical conviction for cannabis possession can apply to have these convictions erased, and that every person currently in jail for a possession offence is released, the Greens will make a one-off injection of funding to NSW Community Legal Centres.

This $1 million funding boost will be delivered over three years and will be used to set up expungement clinics to provide free advice and support for people wishing to erase their convictions.

/Public Release. View in full here.