Maryland: Expungement Bill Becomes Law Minus Governor's Signature

Maryland Cannabis Arrest

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 27, legislation permitting certain marijuana offenders to petition for an expungement of criminal convictions became law, without Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's signature.

Senate Bill 949, sponsored by Senator William C. Smith, Jr. of District 20, permits individuals previously convicted of a marijuana possession an opportunity to petition to have their criminal record expunged.

In 2014, the Maryland legislature decriminalized offenses involving the possession of up to ten grams of cannabis.

U.S.: Rep. Blumenauer Announces Bill To Provide Expungement of Certain Marijuana Offenses


Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) on Monday announced plans to introduce legislation reinforcing steps taken by Oregon to legalize and provide a clean start for certain marijuana offenses.

The Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015, to be introduced on Tuesday, creates a pathway for the following two groups of federal marijuana offenders to expunge – or clear the criminal record of – their marijuana offense: 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 marijuana.

“The penalties of failed prohibition policies should stop ruining people’s lives," Rep. Blumenauer said. "The Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015 follows Oregon’s lead to provide a pathway for expunging certain federal marijuana crimes.”

“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," Blumenauer said. "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.”

California: Prop 47 Takes Significant Step Towards Ending Mass Incarceration and War On Drugs


Passage of Proposition 47 Will Spare Thousands From Unnecessary Time Behind Bars and Save Billions of Taxpayer Dollars

DPA: Overwhelming Support Sends Powerful National Message

California voters on Tuesday took a significant step toward ending mass incarceration and the War On Drugs by approving Proposition 47. On the heels of reforming the state’s “three strikes” law in the 2012 election, Californians overwhelmingly voted to change six low-level, nonviolent offenses – including simple drug possession – from felonies to misdemeanors.

“The overwhelming support for this reform sends a powerful message nationally, demonstrating that voters are not just ready but eager to reduce prison populations in ways that can enhance public safety,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

“This is a win for everyone in California,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.), a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “We’ll save millions keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of state prison, and those resources will be redirected toward public education, victim services, and mental health treatment programs that actually address the problems of addiction.”

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