Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced The Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015, a proposal that creates a pathway for the following two groups of federal cannabis offenders to have their charges expunged (removed) from their criminal record: those who were federally charged for activity that was state legal at the time; and those whose offense was the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis.
“The penalties of failed prohibition policies should stop ruining people’s lives. The Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015 follows Oregon’s lead to provide a pathway for expunging certain federal marijuana crimes,” said Representative Blumenauer in a press release. “People who were caught up in the federal criminal justice system for a marijuana offense that was legal under state law at the time should not carry around a drug record. I support legalizing marijuana at the federal level to put a stop to any state-federal conflicts once and for all, but it is also important that we create pathways for expungement for those who should never have been charged in the first place.”
In addition to creating a pathway for expungement for any individual with a federal criminal record associated with a cannabis offense that was legal under their state at the time, the legislation also creates a pathway for expungement for anyone who has a federal record associated with possessing an ounce or less of cannabis.
“While the number of people who meet this category is low, due to the fact that most small marijuana offenses are charged at the local level, this legislation sends a strong signal to state and local jurisdictions that allowing opportunities for expungement for certain marijuana offenders should happen at all levels of law enforcement”, according to the press release.