On May 1, the convictions of about 750 Alaskans for having marijuana will be taken off of Courtview, the state’s online database of court cases.
In an order signed by all five of the court’s justices on January 31, the Alaska Supreme Court said this would happen. The action, which was first reported on Sunday by The Alaska Landmine, comes after years of unsuccessful attempts by lawmakers to follow a national trend.
People will still be able to look at the records at courthouses and find them with a formal criminal background check, but it won’t be as easy for the general public to find them.
People who were 21 or older and had less than an ounce of marijuana when they broke the law will not be punished. No other crime can be linked to the conviction.
The Supreme Court justices who approved the new order told Nancy Meade, the general counsel for the Alaska Court System, that she couldn’t do an interview.
Meade said that the change came from the office staff and was looked at by the justices in the usual way.
Courtview is run by the court system, which means that marijuana convictions that are not against a state law can be left out. Administrative Rule 40 says that it can’t be used for more than a dozen types of things, such as some requests for protection orders against stalking and domestic violence.
It can’t change the rules for criminal background checks, which are also covered by Wright’s bill. That bill hasn’t been heard yet, but it’s exactly the same as the one that didn’t pass last year. Officials at the Department of Public Safety said that up to 8,500 cases would need to be looked at to see if they are covered by the bill.