UPDATE: Clinic says after 5 years cannabis charges could be expunged

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- News 10 talked to Rebecca Nowak, who is one of the clinical organizers of the expungement clinic and she said that the program will help those who have cannabis charges if they prequalify.

"Which means that 5 years must have passed since incarceration, parole or probation ended," said Nowak.

On Thursday Michigan Supreme Court along with several other partners announced a new clinic that will help individuals clear their criminal record.

This comes days after a state lawmaker introduced a bill to help expunge records of people found guilty of using or possessing Marijuana.

Senator Jeff Irwin's (D-Ann Arbor) new bill says only 6% of people are eligible for the expungement process.

The bill will help those convicted for cannabis crimes, even if they have more than one misdemeanor or felony.

News 10 talked to a local smoke shop and they said that they hope those who are affected could get reduced charges.

"All the people who are in trouble for possessing or selling should either get a reduced time or take them out," said Michael Hyde a Lansing resident.

Others hope that the law will help people who have marijuana charges.

"I would hope that the government would allow for them to remove that stain from their permanent record," said Vincent Muffitt a salesman at Exscape Smoke Shop.

Hyde feels that more information should be available.

"Why sit here and penalize for something that we didn't know about, not everyone is going to sit here and try to memorize every state law."

We talked to the Michigan State Bar Foundation about if they would help those who have a minor possession of Marijuana and they said the Michigan law is specific about what crimes are eligible for expungement, but will offer any help that they can.

"(They) have something like a guide to legal help on their website where someone can answer a few questions and either receive self help resources or be directed to a legal aid program that can help them," said Jennifer Bentley the Executive Director of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

We spoke with Senator Jeff Irwin's office and they said if their bill goes through, those affected by a minor marijuana crime should have their criminal record cleared immediately.

Right now the bill has only been introduced and has not moved forward yet.

To see the full bill click on related documents to the right of this article.

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