Congressmen Troy Carter, Rodney Davis Introduce Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Bill to Expunge Federal Marijuana Misdemeanors
The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act will deliver justice for countless Americans whose lives have been disrupted and deprived because of a misdemeanor Marijuana offense, activity now lawful in 38 states
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressmen Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-La.) and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) introduced bipartisan legislation to create an expungement mechanism for low-level violations of federal marijuana law and provide an expedited, orderly process that clears the deck of non-felony marijuana offenses lingering in the federal system. The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act would deliver justice for countless Americans whose lives have been disrupted and deprived because of a misdemeanor Marijuana offense, activity now lawful for either recreational or medical purposes in 38 states.
“I’m proud to introduce The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act, bipartisan legislation that will restore justice to millions of Americans who have suffered inordinate collateral consequences associated with marijuana-related misdemeanors,” said Congressman Troy Carter. “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. Delivering justice for our citizens who have been impacted by marijuana-related misdemeanors is a key component of comprehensive cannabis reform.”
“Given the number of states, like Illinois, where marijuana has long been legalized for adult-use, we must ensure that our criminal justice system keeps pace so that individuals with low-level misdemeanor violations related to its use does not preclude them from getting jobs and participating in society,” said Congressman Rodney Davis.
Several cannabis reform advocates and activists also shared their support for this legislation to create a federal mechanism to expunge the records of marijuana-related misdemeanors:
“For far too long, millions of Americans have been affected by the lifelong consequences of marijuana-related convictions on their record for simply possessing a small quantity of cannabis,” said Weldon Angelos, President of the Weldon Project. “I want to thank Congressman Troy Carter for introducing this bill, which will be nothing short of lifechanging for so many people and their families. Our country must move toward a post-prohibition approach to federal cannabis law and create a mechanism to expunge low-level violations of federal marijuana law.”
“I want to thank the cosponsors for introducing this important legislation, which offers an approach to marijuana expungement that is coherent, efficient, and just – all without threatening public safety,” said Professor Erik Luna of Arizona State University and founder of the Academy for Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
“This landmark legislation will allow countless Americans to move forward with their lives, remove an impediment to economic progress and restore the ability to maximize their full potential – both for themselves and their families,” said Roz McCarthy, Founder and CEO of Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana. “Addressing the negative societal & economic effects permeated by marijuana prohibition at both the federal and state level will be critical as we seek to deliver comprehensive cannabis reform in this country. I want to thank Representative Carter for introducing The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act, support expeditious movement through the procedural process and I look forward to working with them to move this bill forward in the weeks to come.”
“The National Cannabis Roundtable and our members are committed to cannabis reforms that right past wrongs and advance social equity. The Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act does just that,” said Saphira Galoob, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Roundtable. “We applaud Representative Carter for his strong leadership on cannabis reform, and we wholeheartedly support this landmark legislation.”
“It is unacceptable that those who have been convicted of low-level marijuana offenses, often disproportionately black and brown people, continue to have the conviction hang over their heads – especially as cannabis legalization, research, and reform efforts are more supported by the American people than ever before,” said Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of National Holistic Healing Center. “I applaud Congressman Carter for introducing this important piece of legislation that continues to reduce the harm caused by the War on Drugs and pushes towards a more equitable playing field for patients of the plant.”
Read the full press release here.