Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.) introduced a bill on Friday that would create a mechanism for federal misdemeanor marijuana offenses to be expunged, amid a new push for decriminalization at the federal level.
Carter said in a press release shared with The Hill that the legislation, which is being co-sponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), will provide an “expedited, orderly process” to clear non-felony offenses that are lingering in the federal system. He said it will restore justice to millions who have suffered “inordinate collateral consequences” from marijuana-related misdemeanors.
“These misdemeanors — even without a conviction — can result in restrictions to peoples’ ability to access educational aid, housing assistance, occupational licensing and even foster parenting,” Carter said. “Delivering justice for our citizens who have been impacted by marijuana-related misdemeanors is a key component of comprehensive cannabis reform.”
More than half of all states have at least decriminalized weed, but it remains illegal at the federal level. More than 20 states have passed legislation to create a process for having certain marijuana-related convictions expunged, vacated, set aside or sealed from public view, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
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