(WJBK) - Tyon Hawkins says he was arrested for having small amounts of marijuana back in 2014 and 2016. He's been on probation since then and has a pair of misdemeanors on his record - a record that makes it hard to find work.
"It criminalized us, it turned us into criminals because we wanted to smoke," said Hawkins. "And to see it legal now, it's like a slap in the face.
"I got a letter in the mail saying they couldn't accept my application."
FOX 2: "What for?"
"Based upon the background check," he said.
FOX 2: "And those misdemeanors came up?"
"Yes," he said.
It's not an uncommon story for marijuana toking Michiganders, but the smoke may soon clear.
Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer wants to grant clemency to those with cannabis convictions.
"I think that the people of Michigan have said that for conduct that would now be considered legal, no one should bear a lifelong record for that conduct," said Whitmer today.
The announcement comes a day after voters approved Proposal 1 legalizing marijuana.
The National Business League was one of many groups pushing for it saying the enforcement of green was heavier on black.
"Black Michiganders are three times more likely to be arrested for the possession, more so than whites despite a national study saying that African-Americans are less likely to ever try marijuana to begin with," said Dr. Kenneth Harris, National Business League.
That from the ACLU report the war on marijuana in black and white.
"Unfortunately I get to see that firsthand, “said Judge Kenneth King, 36th District Court. "I think the worst thing about it all is once you get that conviction, that conviction can stay on your record for five years before it can get expunged.
"That can prohibit you from getting a job, keep you out of the military, school all kinds of things. The implications can be quite severe"
As for Tyon, he's working for himself refinishing wood floors and is now hoping Whitmer makes good on her promise of clemency.