Ohio group taking step in effort to expunge old pot crimes


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio group is moving ahead with its effort to create a way to purge old pot-related convictions made obsolete if marijuana is legalized this fall.

ResponsibleOhio is the campaign behind the pot legalization effort. It says it’s filing nearly 238,000 petition signatures Tuesday for the so-called Fresh Start Act.

The proposal calls for reviewing sentences and expunging criminal records for people with previous marijuana convictions if their actions would no longer be considered illegal.

ResponsibleOhio needs some 92,000 valid signatures to get the issue before state lawmakers next year. Legislators would need to act within the first four months of 2016 or supporters could potentially put the issue to voters next fall.

The group says it would continue to seek changes for pot-related convictions even if marijuana isn’t legalized.

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