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expungement

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 26, 2019

    home cultivationDemocratic Gov. David Ige publicly stated this week that he does not intend to veto pending legislation to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession offenses. The Governor has until July 9th to take action on the measure, or it will become law absent his signature.

    House Bill 1383 reduces penalties involving the possession of up to three grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and a criminal record, to a non-criminal violation – punishable by a $130 fine. It also provides procedures for the courts to grant an expungement order for those previously convicted of a marijuana possession offense involving no more than three grams.

    It also establishes a task force to review cannabis policy and to make recommendations to the legislature by 2021.

    The new law will go into effect on January 11, 2020.

    Twenty five states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized the adult possession and use of marijuana.

    By contrast, Gov. Ige did announce his intent to veto legislation allowing medical cannabis patients to transport their medicine between islands, stating that such activities are in direct violation of federal law. He also announced that he will veto separate legislation seeking to establish commercial regulations for hemp farming.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 24, 2019

    Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has signed legislation, Senate Bill 420, to facilitate the expungement of past marijuana convictions.

    The measure establishes procedures for persons previously found guilty of low-level (up to one ounce) marijuana possession offenses to file a motion with the court to have their convictions set aside. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within 30 days. The proposal expands upon prior legislation, enacted in 2015, which sought to make it easier for those with past marijuana convictions to have their records expunged.

    The law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

    The policy is similar to marijuana-related expungement laws recently enacted in a number of states, including Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington. California law automatically expunges past marijuana convictions. Late last week, lawmakers in New York State approved legislation establishing procedures for the automatic expungement of past, low-level marijuana convictions. That legislation awaits action from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

    Earlier this month, Gov. Brown signed legislation, Senate Bill 970, prohibiting landlords from taking discriminatory action against those who either use medical cannabis or possess cannabis-related convictions. The Governor also signed Senate Bill 582, which seeks to authorize Oregon to enter into agreements with regard to exporting cannabis to other states.

    Additional information on pending marijuana legislation is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center.’

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 7, 2019

    Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed legislation into law prohibiting certain employers from refusing to hire a worker because he or she tested positive for cannabis. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

    Assembly Bill 132 makes it “unlawful for any employer in [Nevada] to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.”

    The law is not applicable to prospective employees seeking certain safety sensitive positions, such as those seeking employment as firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or federally licensed drivers.

    Earlier this year, New York City lawmakers enacted municipal legislation barring non-safety sensitive employers from administering marijuana drug tests to prospective employees.

    Urinalysis drug screening, which is most commonly utilized by employers, detects the presence of inactive marijuana metabolites. The residual presence of these compounds may be detectable in urine for several weeks or even months following cannabis abstinence.

    In recent days, the Governor has also signed legislation into law facilitating the expungement of prior marijuana convictions, expanding the state’s medical cannabis access program, and encouraging financial institutions to work with licensed marijuana businesses and to process financial transactions.

    For more information on pending legislation, visit NORML’s Take Action Center.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 5, 2019

    Lawmakers in the House and Senate have voted in favor of legislation, Senate Bill 420, to facilitate the expungement of past marijuana convictions. Following a concurrence vote by the Senate, the measure will advance to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown – who is anticipated to sign the bill into law.

    The measure establishes procedures for persons previously found guilty of low-level (up to one ounce) marijuana possession offenses to file a motion with the court to have their convictions set aside. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within 30 days. The proposal expands upon prior legislation, enacted in 2015, which sought to make it easier for those with past marijuana convictions to have their records expunged.

    Once signed, the new law takes effect on January 1, 2019.

    The policy is similar to marijuana-related expungement laws recently enacted in a number of states, including Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington. California law automatically expunges past marijuana convictions.

    For more information on pending marijuana legislation, visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center.’

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 3, 2019

    Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed legislation into law facilitating those convicted of past marijuana crimes to have their records sealed.

    Assembly Bill 192 permits those convicted of marijuana-specific activities which have since been decriminalized or legalized to submit a written request to the court to have those records sealed. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within ten judicial days.

    The new law takes effect on July 1, 2019.

    The measure is similar to newly enacted laws in several other states – including California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington – facilitating either the expungement or the sealing of prior marijuana convictions (or, in some cases, other criminal violations).

    The governor separately signed legislation (AB 431) restoring voting rights to felons immediately following their release from prison.

    For more information on pending legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center.

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