Washington D.C. decriminalized cannabis last month in an effort to stop the criminalization of D.C. residents who get stuck with pot charges that follow them for life. That is great news for anyone caught going forward, but it left a huge group of people in the dark: those caught with one ounce or less prior to the law passing.
But councilmember David Grosso is working to change that. Under a proposal originally filed by Grosso last fall, criminal records for D.C. residents previously caught with an ounce or less will have their records sealed so long as the charges weren’t in relation to any violent crimes.
The bill gained unanimous support last night from council on first vote.
“Our criminal justice system has relied on vengeance and punishment,” Grosso said before the vote.
According to the DCist, the bill could retroactively affect as many as 20,000 people. Those wanting to get their record sealed must only have had the marijuana charges on their record. Anything else in their criminal history means the pot charges will stick.
D.C. council also approved made perminant a temporary piece of legislatin passed last year that allowed doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they deem worth, as opposed to sticking with a set list of conditions.