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New Bill in Congress Would Seal Marijuana Criminal Records

Criminal Cannabis

In a bipartisan effort members of congress have introduced a bill, The Clean Slate Act, which would seal marijuana possession convictions for non-violent offenders.

Convictions would automatically be sealed for those convicted of minor federal marijuana crimes, according to Philly.com. Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester and Guy Reschenthaler reintroduced the legislation on April 24.

Rochester said, “The Clean Slate Act would ensure that people who pay their debt to society and stay on the straight and narrow can earn a second shot at a better life. If enacted, this legislation would make meaningful strides in filling the 7.1 million unfilled jobs in our country and improve the everyday lives of 100 million Americans who have past records.”

Records may be sealed, but the footprints of the convictions remain, so it would still be seen by some entities.

Chris Goldstein of NORML said, “The data can get mishandled or misappropriated. Unless it is expunged, it can always come back to bite you.”

A spokesperson for Blunt Rochester’s office, Kyle Morse, explained that there’s a reason that records won’t be entirely erased.

Morse said, “We wanted the opportunity for law enforcement and Homeland Security to have access to the files and be able to see them in their entirety. We wanted to assure them that they wouldn’t lose access.”

It’s unknown when the bill will be heard or voted on.