Washington Bill to Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions Receives Public Hearing Date

House Bill 1041, a proposal to allow for thebud expungement of cannabis possession misdemeanors in Washington State, has received a public hearing date in the House Public Safety Committee, the first step towards the proposal being approved through the committee. The hearing will take place at 10AM on January 16th at the John L O’Brien Building in Olympia (504 15th Avenue Southeast); a proposal to defelonize personal drug possession will be heard during the same meeting.

House Bill 1041, filed by Representative Joe Fitzgibbon and supported by a bipartisan coalition of over 20 lawmakers, would allow those convicted of a cannabis possession misdemeanor to have the charge expunged from their record, meaning it would no longer appear on a background check. Identical legislation was filed by Rep. Fitzgibbon in the 2013 session and was approved by its first two committees, though the session ended before a vote in the full House of Representatives was scheduled.

Read moreWashington Bill to Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions Receives Public Hearing Date

Proposal to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession Filed in Washington State, Receives Public Hearing Date

State Representativesensiblewashington Sherry Appleton has filed House Bill 1024, a proposal to remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the charge to a simple (non-gross) misdemeanor. According to an official state fiscal note on defelonizing personal drug possession, the proposal would save the state millions of dollars every year, would free up prison space and would prevent over 9,000 drug-related felonies from occurring each year (charges involving distribution or manufacturing drugs, and any charge involving minors, would remain unaltered).

Defelonizing personal drug possession in Washington State is supported by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – a coalition of thousands of current and former law enforcement professionals – as well as Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington CURE and the ACLU of Washington. The proposal was introduced by the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington.

Read moreProposal to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession Filed in Washington State, Receives Public Hearing Date