by Carl, 02/21/2013, 8:18 PM

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.

11 Responses to “Or Inslee Could Pardon People”

1. Ten Years After spews:

Pardoning sound good to me. Marijuana is legal now, so let’s just cancel-out the stupidity of past laws.

2. rhp6033 spews:

I’m not sure, but I don’t think that a pardon necessarily clears a record. Employers and others doing a criminal background check would still see it, leaving it up to you to explain that you had been pardoned – assuming that you are ever given that opportunity.

3. Ten Years After spews:

From 2,

Yeah, I hear what you’re talking about. Once a person has had a run-in with the law, the record of that sad event can hound a person for the rest of his or her life. That’s especially true with marijuana “crimes.” The campaign against marijuana, that had its roots in the Thirties, was extremely effective in demonizing a relatively harmless substance and those who had the audacity to enjoy it. This prejudice will continue for decades.

4. Serial conservative spews:

Well, now that I have googled I hear what you are talking about as well.

I wonder if this establishes precedent regarding children of politicians and, if Jeb Bush decides to run, whether said precedent will be continued on this blog.

I suppose it might be difficult to further that issue without getting into specifics.

5. Serial conservative spews:

@ 4

Missed by one second my effort to revise my previous comment.

I didn’t catch the ‘part of the campaign’ line in the post; apologies.

I’ll just suggest there will be far less discomfort on HA discussing the problems experienced by Jeb Bush’s daughter, should he elect to run and particularly if he becomes a GOP frontrunner.

Family matters. Just ask Purdue’s Mitch Daniels.

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

4,5 – In George Dubya’s case, it wasn’t the politician’s kid who was doing drugs, it was the politician himself, and stupid Republicans voting for a crackhead ended up having disastrous consequences for the country (although no reasonable person believes he actually won either of those elections; he needed the tailwind of GOP vote suppression, election rigging, and a partisan Supreme Court to get in; but get in he did, and we now know what happens when a crackhead occupies the Oval Office).

No more Republican drug abusers in the White House, please.

7. Serial conservative spews:

@ 6

There’s a difference between George W. Bush and Jeb Bush.

Go have a cup of coffee, take those cognitive dysfunction meds you discontinued months ago, and try again.

Maybe also google Ashley Biden before you spew again, RR.

8. rhp6033 spews:

Part of the problem is that for many years, politicians have used their families as “campaign props”. The idea was to present an image that the candidate was succesful at leading his family and raising his children, skills which would arguable transfer to leadership qualities in public life.

Of course, with the extent of coverage of a political figure today, few families can withstand much scrutiny, when compared with the ideal. With children it’s particularly difficult, because they never consented to being born into a political family, and all that required.

So I agree that kids should be “hands off”, except where, as Carl mentioned, they are adults who choose to become involved in a political campaign.

9. Serial conservative spews:

Gee, good thing it was pointed out that children not be a part of this thread.

I forget what the name of the ‘Law’ is that arose from the unintended consequence of Barbra Streisand suing a photographer for publishing photos of her Malibu estate.

Suffice it to say that by referencing a previously obscure photograph by filing suit and bringing it out in the open, far more people found out about it than would have been the case had Streisand kept her mouth shut.

I have to wonder if part of this thread was intended as a devious way of taking a swipe at someone while claiming that person to be off limits. But that would mean I hear black helicopters and I don’t, ’cause Elvis is talking too loudly for me to hear them.

11. Carl spews:


I don’t mind talking about our policy generally or my policy. To be clear, don’t go after families is my policy not the policy of this blog, and other posters might have different ideas of where the line is, especially for adults. Since the comment policy would be different for this post than for HA generally, I wanted to get something out there ahead of time: Imagine if I hadn’t mentioned anything and then felt I had to remove it and explain after that. The commenter would be rightly upset. I could have been hoped nobody made a connection that I made in my head about a fairly well known incident (and one that has been mentioned on this blog by other contributors), or not mention Roach. None of those were particularly appealing so I did the least bad one.

As for Jeb or any other Republicans (or Democrats) you can hold me to the same standard — it’s the standard I try to hold myself to. But remember it isn’t Darryl’s or Lee’s or Goldy’s or HA’s policy.