New bipartisan law in Congress seeks to erase federal marijuana records

Through Maureen Meihan

Congressmen Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation that would create a mechanism for eradicating marijuana offenses at the federal level, amid a new push to Federal Decriminalization.

“I am proud to introduce the Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act, bipartisan legislation bringing justice to millions of Americans who have suffered excessive collateral consequences related to marijuana-related offenses,” Congressman Carter said in a press release. “These offenses — even without a conviction — can limit people’s ability to access educational assistance, housing benefits, work permits, and even foster parenting.” Bringing justice to our citizens affected by marijuana-related offenses is a key component of comprehensive cannabis reform.”

Photo by Tetiana Strilchuk/Getty Images

Illinois Congressman Davis added, “With the number of states like Illinois that have long legalized marijuana for adult use, we need to make sure our criminal justice system keeps up to accommodate individuals with minor misdemeanors.” Not using it prevents them from finding work and participating in society.”

Cannabis reform advocates agree

Proponents of cannabis reform, including Weldon Angelos, founder and president of the Weldon Project, Roz McCarthy, founder and CEO of Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana, and Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of the National Holistic Healing Center, shared her support for the legislation.

“For far too long, millions of Americans have faced the lifelong consequences of having marijuana-related convictions on their record simply for possessing a small amount of cannabis,” said Angelos, who described the bill as life-changing for so many people and their families .

McCarthy called the bill landmark legislation that will enable thousands of Americans to move forward in life and maximize their full potential. “Tackling the negative societal and economic impacts that marijuana prohibition is permeating at both the federal and state levels will be critical as we attempt to enact comprehensive cannabis reform in this country.”

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dr Chanda Macias said it is unacceptable that those convicted of minor marijuana offenses, often disproportionately black and brown people, continue to have convictions hanging over their heads, “especially as cannabis legalization, research and reform efforts are more supported by the American people than ever.”

RELATED: Schumer Touts “Overwhelming Evidence” Legalizing Cannabis Doesn’t Increase Crime

The Chief Justice would have one year after the bill went into effect to issue procedural rules for the deletion. Each federal district would have up to two years under those rules to “conduct a comprehensive review and issue a deletion, seal and sequestration order.”

Angelos, McCarthy and Macias will all be present at the upcoming Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago on September 13-14. Join us there and meet these extraordinary advocates for marijuana reform and many more.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been republished with permission.

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