Another D.C. Cannabis Reform Bill Heads To Mayor Bowser Following Council's Approval, Here's What's In It

Washington, D.C. lawmakers have unanimously approved yet another cannabis reform measure on the same day they sent an amended piece of legislation seeking to make several changes to the District's medical cannabis program to Mayor Muriel Bowser's (D) desk.

The D.C. Council greenlighted the Second Chance Amendment Act in a 13-0 vote on Tuesday, reported Marijuana Moment.

What's In It?

The bill, which is also pending Bowser's signature, includes a cannabis-focused provision that would allow for records related to possession of "any quantity of marijuana" dating back to before February 2015 when the law legalizing the plant took effect to be expunged.

"The Court shall order automatic expungement of all criminal records and court proceedings related only to citations, arrests, charges, or convictions for the commission of a criminal offense that has subsequently been decriminalized, legalized, or held to be unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia or the Supreme Court of the United States, or records related only to simple possession for any quantity of marijuana in violation of D.C. Code § 48-904.01(d)(1) before February 15, 2015," stipulates the part of the measure amended by Councilmember Christina Henderson (D).

Henderson introduced the amendment to address the fact that criminal records don't tend to reflect the quantity, "so the court and litigants cannot tell from the record itself whether the record qualifies as decriminalized conduct," as per the amendment's rationale section.

The amended version of the bill also states the deadline for the procession of expungements is January 1, 2025, or "within 90 days after termination of the case by the prosecutor or final disposition, whichever is later."

Adult-use cannabis was legalized in Washington, D.C. in 2014, which allowed for the possession of 2 ounces or less for personal use.

Photo: Courtesy of Kindel Media by Pexels

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralbillCannabis ExpungementChristina Hendersoncriminal recordsLegislationmarijuanaMuriel BowserWashington D.C.
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