DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: District residents who have been convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses could apply to have those criminal records sealed under a bill granted initial approval by the D.C. Council on Tuesday.
The change is being considered amid a period of great upheaval for the city’s marijuana laws, which have gone from strict prohibition to the cusp of legalization within a span of months. In March, lawmakers voted to limit the penalties for minor cases of possession to a civil fine no more serious than a parking ticket. Next month, city voters will consider whether to legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use.
Council member David Grosso (I-At Large), who introduced the record-sealing bill, said his legislation is a companion to the other measures. He said it is a matter of fairness to give prior offenders some ability to scrub their records now that city leaders have pursued a liberalized marijuana policy