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Minnesotans convicted of marijuana crimes could see their records cleared with legalization


February 21, 2023

Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Cameron Taylor sat and watched TV with his 9-year-old daughter Isis and 11-year-old son Nasir in February at Taylor's girlfriend's apartment in Bloomington.

Cameron Taylor knew that pleading guilty to a felony marijuana possession charge was the surest way to avoid prison and remain in his children's lives. Little did he know the felony would haunt him for the next decade.

Taylor, 39, has turned his life around since the 2012 conviction but continues to face its consequences. Some employers and landlords reject his applications because of the conviction, barring him from certain jobs and rental housing.

"You basically paid your debt to society, and you continue to keep paying," said Taylor, a father of five who lives in Minneapolis. "It's kind of like having the scarlet letter on you."

Taylor and tens of thousands of other Minnesotans who have committed marijuana-related crimes could see their criminal records sealed if the state Legislature approves a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.


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