A bill to let people apply to clear their records of a nonviolent, misdemeanor marijuana offenses has passed the House Public Safety Committee.
As expected, Washington State’s House Committee on Public Safety voted this morning to approve House Bill 1661, moving it towards a full House vote. The bill would allow those convicted of a cannabis possession misdemeanor – up to 40 grams for those 18 and older – to have it removed from their record. The committee voted 6-5 in favor of the bill.
The primary sponsor of the measure, Rep. Fitzgibbon, says the chances are “really good” that it will pass the House. Newly elected Governor Jay Inslee hasn’t stated his position on the bill, but it would be unlikely for him to veto such legislation. Its fate in the Republican-controlled Senate is less than certain, but its passage isn’t an impossibility, especially considering that the measure has several Republican sponsors.
Sounds like a good idea in the wake of our passing I-502. It was illegal then, but it was also unjust. Since the people of Washington recognized that, it’s time to fix the problem for people who got caught up in the system before it got fixed.
So if you’d like to contact your legislators, you can find them here. If you want to ask the members of the Senate Law and Justice Committee to pass this, you can find them here. Something tells me that Pam Roach* will be tough to get but you can at least try with her and the rest of the GOP members.
If Inslee isn’t sure you can contact his office here. Or, I guess you could just ask him to pardon those people. It’s probably better for the bill to pass because it sets up a system, but if it doesn’t pass, that would be better than nothing.
* And fair warning, any mention of her son in this context will be deleted. I think family — even adults — are off limits unless they’re part of the campaign, make themselves public figures, etc. Sorry this is a bit cryptic, but I’m really uncomfortable writing about it. I just think it might come up otherwise.