A Comprehensive List Of The 24 States (Along With DC) That Have Expungement Programs For Weed

    Several states — like Alaska — have legalized cannabis without instituting an expungement program.

    In recent years, cannabis legalization has taken the country by storm.

    photo of weed plants held by hands with surgical gloves on

    So far, 19 states have fully legalized the substance, along with another 25 states that allow for some form of medical use and, in some cases, have decriminalized nonmedical use. In total, only four states deem cannabis fully illegal — not even permitting nonpsychoactive CBD use.

    shot of a hand holding a lit joint with the shadow of a cannabis leaf in the background

    And, for many people, it's long overdue — not only because a majority of Americans support legalization, but also because of the racist legacy left by the decadeslong war on drugs.

    neon sign of a cannabis leaf with the word "LEGAL" in all-caps

    Now that federally legal cannabis is on the horizon (and has been for a while), constituents are pushing for a more equitable industry — notably, one that actually serves the people it previously criminalized.

    shot of an indoor weed growing facility

    Which is why activists and lawmakers are pushing for cannabis legislation to include the retroactive expungement of criminal records. Depending on the state, people can petition courts to diminish certain charges or wipe them from their records entirely. In other cases, records can be sealed from the public. Scroll further to see which states offer expungement and how it all works.

    (This list was put together based on data from the Collateral Consequences Resource Center.)

    1. Arizona:

    shot of Phoenix's downtown with a cactus in the foreground and mountain range in the background

    2. California:

    shot of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge with downtown in the background

    3. Colorado:

    shot of Denver's downtown set against a backdrop of mountains

    4. Connecticut:

    shot of Hartford's downtown area and its lush trees and winding roads

    5. Delaware:

    shot of a Delaware downtown city, featuring the state's canal system

    6. Hawaii:

    aerial shot of Oahu's Waikiki beach in Hawaii

    7. Illinois:

    Shot of Chicago's downtown area featuring Lake Michigan

    8. Massachusetts:

    Timelapse shot of Boston during rush-hour traffic

    9. Maryland:

    shot of Annapolis' downtown area, featuring Maryland's waterways

    10. Michigan:

    shot of Detroit's downtown with a lake in the foreground

    11. Minnesota:

    shot of the downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota area, with trees and ponds in the foreground

    12. Montana:

    shot of Montana's snowcapped mountains

    13. North Dakota:

    Shot of a North Dakota plateau and a winding road during golden hour

    14. New Hampshire:

    shot of Concord, New Hampshire

    15. New Jersey:

    shot of New Jersey's capitol building in New Jersey

    16. New Mexico:

    Santa Fe during sunset

    17. Nevada:

    shot of Las Vegas, featuring the city's ferris wheel, hotels, famous fountain, and Eiffel Tower replica

    18. New York:

    shot of the Empire State building and NYC's cityscape

    19. Oregon:

    shot of downtown Portland during late sunset

    20. Rhode Island:

    shot of Providence during dusk, there's a bridge across one of the city's waterways

    21. Utah:

    shot of the Grand Canyon

    22. Virginia:

    Richmond during sunset

    23. Vermont:

    Montpelier during the fall

    24. Washington:

    shot of Seattle with Mount Rainier and the Space Needle

    25. Washington, DC:

    shot of the capitol building in DC

    So in case you were keeping track, a total of eight states have some degree of legalization and/or decriminalization without expungement: Alaska, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota.

    a judge's gavel with a blurred balance scale in the background

    All of which goes to say — legalization, decriminalization, and expungement should go hand in hand!