Updated February 4th, 2012.
Sponsored by State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan assortment of twenty additional legislators, House Bill 1661 was filed yesterday in Washington State.
This bill would allow individuals in the state who have been charged with a misdemeanor involving cannabis possession to have it removed from their record. Essentially, this would apply the one ounce (28 grams) decrim from Initiative 502 retroactively to those already convicted. However, rather than applying to just an ounce, it’s allowing people to remove charges from RCW 69.50.4014, which is for possession of up to 40 grams.
This would allow hundreds, if not thousands of individuals to have their record cleared of a charge that never should have existed to begin with. The implications of having such a charge removed from someone’s record is drastic, as it could make the difference between someone getting a job, house or college loans.
We’ll have more on this bill as it progresses, including an interview with the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.
[Note - 2/12/2013: We were able to chat with Rep. Fitzgibbon for a Q&A, which you can find here.]