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Some Western New Yorkers being left out of marijuana expungement because of out-of-state convictions

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 17:49:08-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Gabriel Bump is gearing up for his first book tour after his debut novel “Everywhere You Don’t Belong” is released in February.

Knowing he will be in and out of cities, he proactively applied for TSA Pre-check and Global Entry.

But, his application was denied.

Almost 8 years ago when he was a college student in Missouri he was arrested and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession.

It’s an offense that his peers here in New York State are having erased for a fresh start after the decriminalization of marijuana passed the Senate and Assembly.

But, for Bump, since his conviction happened in another state he’s being left out of those benefits.

Kevin Stadelmaier, chief attorney for the criminal defense unit fo the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, said the legislation only accounts for offenses committed in New York State.

There is no jurisdiction to annul past convictions elsewhere.

So, while New York is making progressive moves when it comes to marijuana legislation, people who came from states that are not moving in that direction are being left behind when it comes to getting opportunities to leave their low-level offenses in the past.

Meanwhile, the way the expungement works for previously-convicted offenders in New York state is that the record will be completely erased. Someone will go in manually to take the record and shred it.

These will not even show up in federal NCIS checks because the legislation is written to make even the arrest disappear.

Bump says the incident happened during the two years he attended college in Missouri.

He has not been in trouble since.