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Starting July 12, marijuana possession convictions can be expunged

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Proposition 207 legalized recreational marijuana in Arizona. Now, certain marijuana possession convictions can be wiped clean from a person's record starting on July 12.

News 4 Tucson spoke with the Pima County Attorney's Office (PCAO) on how they're working to help people clear their names.

It's a process they are trying to make as simple as possible. You fill out an online form on the PCAO website. If you're eligible, they will submit the request for expungement at no cost to you.

If you are concerned about your own criminal legal status, PCAO says to consult an attorney before submitting your information.

For those ready to make a request, Pima County Attorney Laura Conover says they're ready to help.

"It's a very quick process, limited information, only what's required in the law required to file in court," Conover said. "We're wanting it to be easy and free."

Those who are eligible for expungement include people who have been arrested, charged, convicted or acquitted for previously possessing, consuming, transporting or cultivating two and a half ounces or less of marijuana, six or less marijuana plants and any paraphernalia related charges.

According to Clark Wu, an attorney with Bianchi and Brandt, which specializes in cannabis law, if you apply for expungement in Arizona and it is accepted, then your record will be wiped clean.

"That goes away, the state's not supposed to release it to anyone who submits a records request, and you could go out and tell the world 'I've never been charged, I've never been arrested, I've never been convicted and I think that's powerful," said Wu.

Conover says convictions like these have prevented people from getting jobs, finding a place to live and even buying a car. She also believes this effort can change lives.

"It comes up on every search of your name, and so it just cannot be overstated the benefit of getting that off of your record," said Conover.

For additional information, click here.

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