FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2018
Marijuana Legalization Prompts Bill to Seal Public Records of Past Convictions
Past Marijuana Crimes Can Limit Alaskans Ability to Get Jobs
Juneau – Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) has introduced legislation to protect the ability for Alaskans to go to work despite past convictions for marijuana possession. House Bill 316 seeks to seal public records related to marijuana possession in the wake of voter approval of legalization in Alaska in November of 2014. The bill also calls for the Alaska CourtView system to be wiped clean of all marijuana convictions classified as a VIA misdemeanor. The citizens initiative allowed the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana but failed to address how to deal with those previously convicted of marijuana possession.
“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 is now entirely legal. 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 have been held back because of this overlooked impact of legalization,” said Rep. Drummond.
Rep. Drummond is encouraging Alaskans who have had difficulties with job opportunities or discrimination due to past marijuana possession charges or convictions to contact her office at (907) 465-3875.
HB 316 was formally introduced this afternoon and referred to the House Judiciary and Finance Committees.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.