Bill To Seal Records Of Non-Violent Marijuana Offenses Passed By Council

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  A whole bunch of bills were passed by the D.C. Council during today’s legislative meeting, including one that will seal the criminal records for District residents convicted of non-violent marijuana-related crimes.

The bill, which was introduced by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) last fall works in tandem with D.C.’s recent marijuana decriminalization law. According to the bill, District residents with non-violent misdemeanor or felony marijuana possession charges on their criminal records can have their court records sealed for good. Speaking before the Council, Grosso said that this could apply to nearly 20,000 people arrested over a 10-year period.

In addition to the record-sealing bill, the Council also passed an amendment to the city’s medical marijuana laws that gets rid of the list of qualifying conditions, instead leaving it to a doctor’s discretion to determine if a medical marijuana recommendation is necessary for a patient. Though Mayor Vince Gray quietly signed emergency legislation into law in August, the Council unanimously passed official legislation today, making the emergency legislation no longer temporary. Both pieces of legislation has been passed along to Mayor Gray to sign into law.

Of course, the city’s marijuana laws could change even more drastically after next week, when residents can vote to legalize the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana.