AK: House Passes Marijuana Convictions Bill

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The Alaska House of Representatives Sunday passed legislation that may make it easier for certain Alaskans to get jobs.

Earlier this year, Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) introduced House Bill 316, which aimed to restrict public access to records related to simple marijuana possession convictions.

The bill was introduced after voters approved the legalization of marijuana in Alaska in November of 2014. That initiative allowed the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana but did not address how to deal with those with prior marijuana possession convictions.

“This bill is not a get out of jail card; it’s a reasonable approach to allow Alaskans to get jobs currently unavailable to them because they did something that Alaskans have voted repeatedly they believe should be entirely legal,” said Rep. Drummond.

“This bill does not benefit drug dealers. Rather, it helps mothers and fathers clear their names from past mistakes, allows many of our friends and neighbors to apply for jobs they didn’t think they could ever get, and strengthens communities by providing new opportunities for those who continue to be held back by something that is no longer against the rules.”

HB316 passed the House 30-10; it now will make its way to the Senate for consideration.