Governor Jay Nixon has signed a bill which will allow most marijuana-related convictions to be expunged from public record after a period of time. Captain Bob Higginbotham with the Joplin Police Department says there are some advantages to having pot-related convictions dropped from the public record.

“I understand how it’s difficult with a conviction for drug use to get housing sometime, public assistance or loans, be able to do volunteer work and I understand that we need to help people maybe move past some of their history so that they can make sure they’re productive,” Higginbotham says.

He says the law limits the public’s right to know about someone’s past. Although the governor recently signed the law, it won’t take effect until January 1, 2018.