Metropolis of Seattle to Nullify All Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Convictions From Years Previous to Legalization

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Metropolis Legal professional Pete Holmes introduced right this moment that town will nullify all misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession within the years earlier than marijuana was legalized for grownup use in Washington state.

Marijuana possession arrests in Washington state rose sharply within the 25-year interval main as much as legalization, from four,000 in 1986 to 11,000 in 2010, totaling 240,000 arrests, as famous in a current report from the Drug Coverage Alliance. Town goes so far as they will go to offer retroactive aid to folks with marijuana convictions – offering aid to folks convicted of marijuana felonies would require the state to take motion.

“Seattle is doing the proper factor,” mentioned Jolene Forman, workers legal professional for the Drug Coverage Alliance. “It can be crucial that states contemplating legalizing marijuana, in addition to states that have already got legalized, they acknowledge the previous harms of the unequal enforcement of marijuana legal guidelines, and work to restore them. Repairing the harms of marijuana criminalization, particularly in communities of coloration which were hit the toughest by our harmful drug legal guidelines, is a necessary piece of correctly implementing marijuana legalization. It’s thrilling to see a metropolis like Seattle doing all it could actually to enhance what the state of Washington permitted in 2012.”

This choice follows an analogous transfer made by town of San Francisco final week for all marijuana associated convictions that have been modified by Proposition 64, together with felonies. The Drug Coverage Alliance estimates as much as a million persons are eligible to have their data modified throughout the state of California, and has been organizing expungement clinics throughout the state serving to certified folks get their data modified. The following clinic is on Saturday, March 17th, in Los Angeles.

California’s Prop. 64 set a brand new commonplace to prioritize restorative justice in efforts to legalize marijuana. Expunging data for individuals who have been convicted of issues that at the moment are authorized was a groundbreaking felony justice provision of Prop. 64 and, as Seattle is exhibiting, it’s catching on in jurisdictions that legalized marijuana previous to California. The Drug Coverage Alliance drafted Prop. 64 to incorporate this important element.

Whereas California was the one state, to date, to incorporate retroactive document clearing provisions in its marijuana legalization legislation, further states have handed or are working to move such provisions by means of the legislature. For instance, the Oregon legislature handed a invoice in 2015 permitting folks convicted of marijuana offenses to retroactively clear their data. As well as, Colorado handed a invoice in 2017 permitting prior marijuana misdemeanors to be expunged from an individual’s document.

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