PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Legalizing marijuana has the potential to impact Arizona in so many ways, and now hundreds of thousands of Arizonans will soon have the chance to have any non-violent cannabis convictions cleared from their criminal record. Saturday at Green Goods Dispensary in Phoenix, a free clinic helped dozens of Arizonans get started on that process.
"I get goosebumps just thinking about it honestly because I don't know how to really explain how it would change my life," says Phoenix resident Tim Kirkevold.
Back in 2011, Kirkevold was convicted of possessing marijuana for sale, a Class 6 Felony in Arizona. That, combined with two previous misdemeanors for possession and paraphernalia, means Kirkevold can't vote. He also can't own or use a firearm. But most importantly, it means Kirkevold can't pursue his dream job of working at a dispensary.
"It limited me from working in the industry," says Kirkevold. "And that's something I was really looking forward to."
Over the years, Kirkevold has gotten by doing construction work. But thanks to this expungement clinic put on by the non-profit Minorities for Medical Marijuana and Green Goods Dispensary in Phoenix, Kirkevold and dozens of others are beginning the process towards a second chance at living their best life.
"An expungement would completely remove that from your record," says Arizona attorney George Biederman. "Your records could be sealed, and you'd have to get a court order to find anything out about it."
George Biederman and seven other Arizona attorneys were in attendance helping the couple dozen or so this afternoon make sure their paperwork is in order before the July 12th date for petitioning for expungement.
"Most people don't remember where their case was," says Biederman. "They know they got in trouble somewhere in Maricopa County, but they don't know if it was in Scottsdale or Chandler. We'll help you get your paperwork lined up and get you ready to have your record expunged so you can get your life back."
As for Kirkevold, he can't help but envision what that new life would look like.
"I would probably start applying for every dispensary position that I could possibly get my hands on and just hope that one of them calls me back," says Kirkevold.
There are somewhere between a quarter of a million and half a million Arizonans eligible for their criminal records to be expunged. Only marijuana convictions are what currently can be expunged.
Another free expungement clinic is expected to happen in the Valley sometime before that July 12th date where those convicted can petition for expungement.