Antigua and Barbuda to Expunge Minor Marijuana Convictions

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 8, 2024: The government of Antigua and Barbuda has decided to introduce legislation to expunge criminal records for individuals convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana.

This initiative will effectively erase these convictions, allowing affected individuals to legally state they have no prior arrests or juvenile delinquency adjudications when interacting with potential landlords, employers, or licensing agencies.

The parliament is scheduled to convene this month to consider this legislation.

Although a bill to expunge minor offenses was passed in 2013, it was never implemented.

In March 2018, the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act modified the Misuse of Drugs Act, decriminalizing possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis or cannabis resin. However, this amendment did not fully legalize cannabis, as penalties for selling the drug remain in place.

Current regulations also limit households to a maximum of four marijuana plants, with possession of more than this number remaining illegal.

The new legislation aims to address the lingering effects of past cannabis convictions, aligning with the country’s recent decriminalization efforts. Cannabis in Antigua and Barbuda is illegal. The islands are not a major producer of cannabis, and instead import the drug from Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

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