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Sat, May 28

New fund could be created for Mohave County local courts receiving Proposition 207 dollars

KINGMAN – Local justice courts in Kingman, Bullhead City, North Canyon and Lake Havasu City are now receiving state funding under Proposition 207, but now a new budget fund will be needed to store that funding.

Proposition 207 effectively legalized the sale of recreational marijuana throughout Arizona, with funding allocated to the state’s justice and superior courts. The funding is distributed from the Arizona Supreme Court, based on the number of marijuana-related criminal expungements are processed by each court. The budget funds will be kept in order to keep track of money received, which can then be submitted to Mohave County’s General Fund.

Under Proposition 207 – also known as the Smart and Safe AZ Act, the money will be paid each June 30 and Dec. 31 to community college districts, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, the Arizona Highway User Revenue Fund, the Attorney General’s Office and to the Arizona Justice Reinvestment Fund.

The Lake Havasu City Justice Court received less than $36 of that funding this March, under the Smart and Safe AZ Act. Future earnings under the law could be greater, according to county officials, as more marijuana-related criminal expungements are processed throughout Mohave County.

Under the law, past marijuana arrests and convictions may be expunged from an Arizona resident’s criminal record in limited circumstances.

Defendants who were arrested on charges of possessing, consuming or transporting less than 2.5 ounces of Marijuana may have their prior arrests or convictions expunged under the law. If petitioners were charged with the possession, cultivation or transportation of marijuana plants, and expungement would be allowed if no more than six plants were involved in petitioners’ respective cases. Petitioners may also seek to expunge records involving the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia.

The expungement process is free to petitioners – and according to statements in April by Mohave County Clerk to the Superior Court Christina Spurlock, more expungements may be processed by the county’s courts as more people learn about the filing process for expungement of their past marijuana-related arrests and convictions.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to approve the new judicial budgetary funds under the Smart and Safe AZ Act at its Monday meeting in Kingman. The vote will be part of the county’s Consent Agenda, and may be passed without prior discussion by the county’s governing board.

For more information about how to expunge past marijuana arrests or convictions in Mohave County, or to find a printed copy of the petition for expungement, visit www.azcourts.gov/prop207.

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