FULTON, Mo. (KMIZ.)
Thursday marks the deadline for counties to expunge low-level marijuana offenses, but several counties including a few in Mid-Missouri aren't expected to make it.
Columbia attorney and marijuana advocate, Dan Viets argues it shouldn't be necessary to get a court order which forces circuit courts to follow Missouri's constitution, but Missouri NORML says they're ready to pursue that option if need be.
Across the state over 46,600 cases have already been expunged, according to the Office of
State Courts Administrator. On the other hand, officials say several counties have made little or no effort to comply with Missouri's expungement deadline.
Counties that have expunged:
- Buchanan County: 2,000 cases
- Gasconade County: 10 cases
- Maries County: Four cases
- Callaway County: Two cases
- Randolph Count: Three case
Audrain, Clay, Cooper, Carter, Greene, Laclede, McDonald, Pettis, Phelps, Saline, St. Charles, Scott, and St. Francois have all expunged at least 1,000 cases. However, counties such as Gentry, Holt, Knox, Mercer, and Putnam Counties haven't expunged any cases at all.
Viets says all court expenses during the expungement process will be paid for or reimbursed by revenue from the 6% statewide sales tax on marijuana use. This is another reason why he says there should be no reason counties are "dragging their feet".
Any counties that fail to comply with the rule, could be subject to penalties like fines or even jail time.