Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Proposal to remove pot crimes from records in Washington 2015

Representative Joe Fitzgibbon Democrat from the 34th District (Vashon Island) is pushing a bill forward in the Washington legislature that would allow individuals to remove misdemeanor marijuana crimes from their record.

Here is a link to the proposed bill over on

This is another attempt to move this idea forward (His first try was in 2013) after he was inspired by the Washington Attorneys who were dropping marijuana charges immediately after 502 passed. 

He was quoted in the Raw Story a year ago. After he heard Washington prosecutors were dropping charges due to 502's passage he said

“That got me thinking of the thousands of Washingtonians who have a misdemeanor marijuana conviction on their record, and if there wasn’t something we could do to help them out, help them get a fresh start with their lives,”

Remember this Raw Story article is about a year old, but this effort is new

If this succeeds individuals having misdemeanor cannabis crimes on their record will be able to have those crimes removed.

It will be almost like they were never there. 

More info from the Raw Story:

Many times a marijuana conviction can disqualify one for numerous jobs, public housing opportunities and educational financing: harms Fitzgibbon hopes to undo by allowing prior offenders to petition for their charges to be vacated.

While there is a chance that people could find out about your relationship with cannabis through measures other than scanning your criminal history, this will be the formality that is necessary to help people get on with their lives.

While this bill would allow for the vacating of past pot offenses, it is important to not that this only applies if there are no pending criminal charges or any new charges since the misdemeanor pot conviction. People with a history of DUI charges, violent or obscene offenses, or domestic violence charges will not be eligible.

People shouldn't be haunted by a criminal record filled with things that are no longer a crime. 

Now that marijuana is legal we can treat cannabis consuming folks the same as if they had a beer after work occasionally. No big deal, it never was a big deal, and with help from Fitzgibbon it will be as small of a deal as it really needs to be. 

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