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Friday, February 8, 2013

WA Bill Would Clear a Pot Conviction

Posted by on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 7:00 AM

A bill filed Tuesday in the Washington State House would vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions for those who qualify, a direct response to voters legalizing possession last fall.

If passed, HB 1661 would work one of two ways: (1) Someone who pleaded guilty to a pot possession charge could apply to the court for a vacation of that criminal record, and, if eligible, that plea will be changed to not guilty and the case will be dismissed. (2) Someone who pleaded not guilty—but was convicted—can apply for the vacation and the court shall dismiss "the information, indictment, complaint, or citation against the applicant," nullifying the judgment and sentence. The bill's prime sponsor, Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-West Seattle), added by email that if you meet the eligibility requirements, the judge is required to send you on your way to the sandy beaches of innocence.

What are those eligibility requirements? You must have completed the terms of your sentence, for starters. Among other disqualifiers, the court can't vacate a conviction if you have a DUI on your record, were found guilty of another drug charge within ten years of this charge, or have had a domestic violence conviction.

The bill has 21 cosponsors, two Republicans and the rest Democrats. What's the benefit if it passes? The court would be required to notify law enforcement and the FBI of the change in your record. The vacation of your record would be accessible only by law enforcement, and that past conviction couldn't be used to deny you housing, a job, or student loans.


Comments (9) RSS

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Pope Peabrain 2
It's both affirming and tragic. Affirming in that we can finally start having sensible treatment of adults who have really done nothing wrong. And tragic that it's taken us so long to start being sensible about adult behavior that harms nobody.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 8, 2013 at 7:33 AM · Report this
Male rape victims slam Oscar-nominated filmmakers over focus on women

"You can't really address the problem of military sexual trauma until you include the 56 percent of the victims — the men — and they are being ignored right now," Lewis said.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 8, 2013 at 7:37 AM · Report this
watchout5 4
Any representative who votes against this is anti-human and I demand that the Slog make at least a single post for each representative who would have the balls to want to keep people in jail who have committed crimes that are no longer illegal. It would be the very definition of a tyrant and I demand satisfaction.
Posted by watchout5 on February 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 5
I understand that reasoning behind this, and don't necessarily disagree with it, but it still seems like a lot of bureaucratic red tape created to help a narrowly defined group. A group that may well be who @1 describes.
Sounds like a lot of paperwork for several different public agencies, but possibly a small boon for a certain class of lawyer.
Posted by Sir Vic on February 8, 2013 at 7:58 AM · Report this
Not that I'm for domestic violence or other "drug offenses" or whatever, but what do they have to do with marijuana offenses? I don't like the combination of unrelated things.
Posted by fetish on February 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM · Report this
murphtall 7
So I had a pot charge in 1990 and a DUI in 2009. I don't qualify? BOO HISS!
Posted by murphtall on February 8, 2013 at 10:44 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 8
@3: MRAs are the worst people. Just the fucking worst.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
#3 you are fucking delusional.
Very convenient to leave out the fact that men out number women in the military approximately 10 to 1. That fact makes your statistic of 56% of sexual abuse happens to men deceptive at best. And maybe you should be upset that there is so much sexual abuse in the military instead of your "Hollywood is bias" bullshit.

With that said sexual abuse is unacceptable, period.
Posted by Madame Chintoa on February 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 10
@9: "you are fucking delusional"

It's Bailo's shtick.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this

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