Men and women with outdated marijuana convictions will be able to have their records expunged faster under an Oregon bill approved by the House.
On June 4, 2019, lawmakers voted 42-15 to send Democratic Gov. Kate Brown a measure easing some of the bureaucratic hurdles involved in setting aside marijuana convictions that occurred before Oregon legalized marijuana in 2015.
Those seeking expungement will no longer have to pay a fee nor will they have to provide fingerprints or undergo a background check.
Democratic Rep. Janelle Bynum said those with outdated convictions have trouble securing housing and employment and that they are “still paying the price for actions that we have decriminalized.”
Bynum, the only black member of the House, added that the issue of criminal records disproportionally affects people of color. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported in 2013 that blacks were 2 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Oregon than whites.
Feature image: Oregon could make it easier for individuals convicted of marijuana-related offenses to clear their criminal records. The House voted 42-15 to pass an expungement bill June 4, 2019, that will go before Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.