New Сongressional Bill Pressures States to Expunge Drug Convictions

Just two weeks into his short term in the House, a congressman who stepped in to fill the seat of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has filed a bill to expunge all federal records for people with non-violent drug convictions and also put pressure on state and local governments to do the same.

Rep. Kwanza Hall (D-GA), a former Atlanta City Councilman who successfully sponsored a local marijuana decriminalization measure in 2017, introduced the legislation on Wednesday. Text of the bill isn’t available yet, but the congressman briefly described the proposal in a floor speech.

He said the bill “would expunge all records of nonviolent offenders impacted by the ‘war on drugs’ and other various crime bills for any state and local government that is the recipient of federal crime dollars.”

That latter provision is notable, as expungements legislation that’s been introduced in Congress generally only extends to people with federal drug convictions or provides funds to states to help with any such efforts they choose to launch. Hall’s legislation would take it a step further, presumably by punishing state and local governments that don’t clear past drug conviction records by withholding federal funds from those jurisdictions.

But with about a month left before the end of the session, at which point Hall’s short term will expire, it’s unlikely the bill will advance.

In any case, this isn’t Hall’s first dip into drug policy reform. As noted, he previously sponsored an Atlanta ordinance that removed the threat of jail time for possession of one ounce or less of cannabis. Instead, the penalty for that offense in Atlanta was made to be a maximum $75 fine.“While this is a significant step forward for all of Atlanta—and especially parents who fear their children may be jailed for what used to be an unjust marijuana law—it was also just a common-sense reform,” he said at the time.

“I don’t smoke weed, but I think this is one thing I had to stand up on,” he said in an interview before the vote. “We don’t need to see people’s live go up in smoke.”

Hall also participated in a policy summit that the Minority Cannabis Business Association hosted in Atlanta in 2017.

Earlier this month, the new congressman celebrated the House passage of a bill to federally legalize marijuana—one of his first votes after being sworn in on Capitol Hill.

Hall’s congressional office did not respond to Marijuana Moment’s request for a copy of his new bill, and the Library of Congress has not yet posted it.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content-sharing agreement. Read the original article here.

More from our Blog

Jan 23
Queen’s Windsor Farm Shop Selling ‘Popular’ Cannabis-Infused Drinks

The Queen’s Windsor Farm Shop is selling cannabis-infused energy drinks that are…

Jan 23
Warm Up and Calm Down this Winter with CBD-Infused Soup

Kitchen Toke’s Golden Beet Soup & Roasted Vegetable And Lentil Soup In the…

Jan 22
Netherlands To Supply Medical Cannabis Until July Despite Brexit Ban

The mother of a nine-year-old boy with a severe and rare form of epilepsy who was told…

Jan 22
If You’re A Cannabis Patient In Utah, Here’s Why You Can No Longer Cross Borders For Marijuana

A recent survey showed nearly 60% of patients still consider buying cannabis from…

Jan 22
One Man’s Journey From Injustice to Advocacy

CANNABIS CULTURE – “You build perseverance, and no one can take that away…

Jan 22
Multiple Non-Violent Cannabis Offenders Pardoned on Trump’s Last Day

CANNABIS CULTURE – Former President Donald Trump’s list of last-day…