Cannabis Expungement Law Takes Effect in D.C.

Cannabis Expungement Law Takes Effect in D.C.

measures The bill, which was approved by the District of Columbia Council late last year, “mandates automatic sealing of non-dangerous, non-convicted records and shortens the waiting period for records to be eligible to be sealed.” and the qualification of those who can seal their records “will be further expanded”. The bill was signed into law by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in his January, but enactment was delayed because legislation in the U.S. capital was part of the puzzle.

DC laws are subject to Congressional oversight and approval. A provision that has prevented districts from conducting legal marijuana sales despite the fact that voters legalized cannabis in 2014.

The bill went to Congress after Bowser signed the cannabis elimination measures in January. As NORML explained, All “laws must undergo 30 days of parliamentary review before they become laws,” and without parliamentary intervention, bills become laws.

That moment is now, or rather, March 10, when the law officially came into force.

normal Here are the details of the new law:

“The Act provides for convictions or citations specific to marijuana-related offenses that have since been decriminalized or legalized in the District of Columbia, and for automatic review of records related solely to the simple possession of any amount of marijuana. and cancellations before February 15, 2015 in violation of DC Code § 48-904.01(d)(1) and by January 1, 2025 for all cannabis-specific cancellations must be dealt with by the court.”

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano welcomed the new law.

“Thousands of D.C. residents unfairly carry the burden and stigma of past convictions for actions that district legislators, most Americans, and a growing number of states no longer consider criminal,” Almenato said. said. “Our sense of justice and fairness require courts to move quickly to right past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization.”

In 2021, it looked like legal cannabis sales could finally come to Washington D.C.

That’s because the Senate Democrats at the time had an appropriation budget that didn’t include the so-called “Harris Ryder,” named after Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris, who had appeared in all such bills since 2014. for submitting a draft proposal.

Harris Rider has ruled out Washington, D.C. from engaging in the sale of legal commercial marijuana.

At the time, Bowser celebrated Ryder’s apparent exclusion from the proposed bill.

“The Senate appropriations bill is an important step in recognizing that in a democracy Washington, D.C. residents should be governed by D.C. values,” Bowser’s office said at the time. “As we continue our way to D.C., Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, our good friend and subcommittee Chairman Senator Chris Van Hollen, and of course, I would like to thank Rep. Eleanor Holmes, a champion on the hill, Norton for recognizing and advancing the will of DC voters, as well as passing a final spending bill that removes all anti-home rule clauses. We are asking Congress to do so and allow DC to use local funds as it sees fit.”

Activist groups pressured Democrats in Congress to steadfastly support Harris Ryder.

“While Congress continues to advance federal marijuana reform grounded in racial justice, at the same time the jurisdictions that led the nation to legalize marijuana through this lens are regulating it. This conflict and contradiction must end now,” said Queen Adesui, senior national policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement last year.

But it wasn’t.

Harris Rider was included in the appropriations finalized last year.

Alexandra Solorio
Introducing Alexandra, an accomplished cannabis writer who has passionately pursued her craft for a decade. Through a decade-long journey, Alexandra has cultivated a profound connection with the cannabis world, translating her expertise into captivating prose. From unraveling the plant's rich history to exploring its therapeutic marvels and legal evolution, she has adeptly catered to both connoisseurs and newcomers. An unwavering advocate, Alexandra's words not only enlighten but also advocate responsible cannabis use, establishing her as an indispensable industry voice over the past ten years.

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