Oregonians, two important bills before the House Judiciary Committee would greatly benefit those convicted of marijuana law offenses. Senate Bill 364 has already passed the Oregon Senate and is awaiting a hearing on the House side. The Oregon Legislature, in 2013, passed a measure that decreased marijuana penalties, effective on July 1st of that year. Senate Bill 364, sensibly allows those convicted before July 1, 2013, to have their marijuana offenses retroactively changed to the lesser penalty. House Bill 3372, would allow those sentenced for marijuana offenses before July 1, 2015, to have their punishment changed to those that go into effect after July 1, 2015. Marijuana legalization goes into effect on July 1 of this year.
With pot legalized in Oregon, state Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) says people jailed for non-violent weed crimes should no longer be kept behind bars.
Frederick is sponsoring a bill in the Oregon Legislature that would reduce sentences for people sent to prison before July 1, 2015, for marijuana-related activities—like selling, growing and transporting—that will become legal this summer. In some cases, those sentence reductions would amount to an immediate release.
His bill would also allow people convicted of non-violent marijuana crimes to expunge their records.
I urge Oregonians to contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to pass both HB 3372 and SB 364. These bills are common sense measures that will actually save Oregon tax dollars and judicial resources and bring us closer and closer to ending the harmful consequences of cannabis prohibition. Representative Frederick is my personal state rep, so I am very proud to be able to support an elected official that understands the need to erase some of the unnecessary penalties that nonviolent people have suffered due to remnants of our Reefer Madness past. I’ll be monitoring these bills, so please check back and I’ll keep everyone updated on their progress and let Oregon voters know how they can help.