Southfield, MI (CBS DETROIT) – Now that recreational marijuana is legal in several cities including Detroit very soon, there are options and possible opportunities for those previously convicted of marijuana crimes.

Darius Hardrick a previous marijuana conviction says “Riding around in the car with some friends got stopped by the police, had a bag full of marijuana.”

Hardrick says from that situation back in 2008, he was charged with a felony and served time in jail.

Hardick says “With that came procession and manufacturing and delivery. As I know now manufacturing and delivery is the growing and moving of marijuana, back then we wasn’t even growing marijuana.”

Marijuana is being grown in Michigan, and is legal, in fact since becoming legal December 1, 2019, recreational marijuana shops in Michigan sold $10 million worth of weed.

Residents can also have marijuana delivered directly to their homes. Hardrick says this is hard to hear, considering he did jail time for marijuana delivery, and says there are plenty more with this same unfortunate outcome.

Hardrick says “Wow they robbed everybody, then they legalized it.”

He says he still feels robbed, because those marijuana charges remain on his record. since the legalization the state is working on legislation that would automatically expunge certain records. there will also be a social equity program.

Maurice Morton from the Morton Law Group says “looking at those groups and those cities or municipalities that were impacted by the prosecution or the criminalization of marijuana during the last 20 or 30 years. So particularly the state of Michigan now is interested in looking at offering an opportunity to those that we’re previously convicted of marijuana related offenses.”

The social equity program is available in 41 Michigan communities including Detroit. The state says these areas have been disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of marijuana in the past. the program offers the possibility of ownership within the marijuana industry.

Hardrick says he’s glad the state is doing something, but for him the reality of once being an inmate still has internal snars. “Time is something that you can’t get back so if you do anytime for anything, it’s something that you can’t get back.”

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