Bill Filed In Washington Would Clear Those With Marijuana Misdemeanors

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.


Washington State Capitol Building.

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.]

– TheJointBlog

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.


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  1. James Barber Sr.

    If this bill passes, my record gets cleaned for the wrongful prosecution of 9.59 grams whilst being a cannabis patient. In essence, I was denied an affirmative defense by our
    lovely judicial branch via a motion by the prosecution I do not have any medical condition
    only to be rebutted after my conviction by a federal administrative law judge for social security in which all my medical condition(s) documentation was before the judge and she found I had 5 medical conditions under state law and specifically the ones I claimed
    in my prosecution.

    I have filed a $60 million dollar tort notice to the risk management of the county in which their outhouse lawyers called me to let me know they are not accepting the claim
    under state laws… i.e. it’s a federal case not a state damages claim. 🙂

    My next step is to file one with the state…

    I also look forward to seeing this become reality.. and not just window dressing for brownie points in donations..

    James Barber Sr.
    legal and legislative ambassador
    for SW Wa.

  2. Steve Sarich

    There are a long list of supporters for this bill…bravo! The name conspicuously absent from the list is Representative Roger Goodman. Instead, Goodman is trying to pass a zero tolerance DUID law for those with commercial drivers’ licenses! 5ng/ml was apparently no ridiculous enough for Rep. Goodman.

    Goodman took thousands of dollars in donations from the medical cannabis community to help him get re-elected in Novemeber. How quickly some people forget. I don’t think the patients will forget in the next election when Roger is passing the hat.

  3. tielman.karovsky

    Sanity is returning. Someone has to show the way.

  4. Fela Cutey

    Release our people! And go fuck yourselves you idiots! So we must celebrate all this genocide and torture? Politicians go to hell!

  5. waltinseattle

    they steal a dollar and give back a nickle. we call it a victory. what is wrong with that scenario?

  6. Madryt

    I have learned several good stuff right here. Definitely bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much time is put in to creating such an excellent informative website.

  7. marcus

    this is oustanding. round of applause to those involvd!

    1. tielman.karovsky

      About time too.

  8. 420 College

    that is definitely great news. One day the cannabis plant may be free and take all of it’s followers with it.

  1. Washington State Bill To Clear Cannabis Misdemeanor Gets Committee Hearing - The Joint BlogThe Joint Blog

    […] we reported on legislation that was filed in Washington State, which would allow adults with a cannabis possession misdemeanor […]

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