A Clean Slate
As the mother of two teenagers, I know that good people can make mistakes – particularly good young people. The key is to learn from your mistakes and move forward. If a person is convicted for a marijuana-related offense, however, moving forward can be tough. A marijuana conviction can make it harder to find a job, rent an apartment, or even get an education.
This year I was pleased to help pass two bills in the Oregon Legislature to address this issue. HB 3400 allows people to expunge many marijuana convictions after three years. SB 844 allows a person under age 21 to expunge a marijuana conviction after one year in some instances. We also reduced the severity of some marijuana offenses in light of voters’ decision to pass Measure 91.
I am pleased now for the chance to support Congressman Blumenauer’s Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015. This legislation will help people with minor federal convictions for marijuana clear those offenses from their records.
The Congressman’s staff has calculated that in the last ten years, over seven million people have been arrested for marijuana possession, taking into account state, federal, and local law enforcement statistics. The Clean Slate Act will not only help some of those people, it will send a strong message that allowing a pathway for expungement of certain marijuana offenses should happen at all levels of government.
Thank you, Congressman Blumenauer, for your leadership. Thanks also to the great work of New Approach Oregon, the Bus Project, the ACLU of Oregon, attorney Rob Bovett, Rep. Andy Olson, Senator Floyd Prozanski, Senator Ginny Burdick, and Rep. Lew Frederick on this issue.
With Rep. Lew Frederick, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Anthony Johnson of New Approach Oregon, and Aaron Brown of the Bus Project
Round Table conversation with Congressman Blumenauer (Photo: Rachel Loskill)