Legal Weed: How Marijuana Policy Fared for June 4-8, 2018

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Delaware and New Jersey lawmakers considered legislation to consider expungements of criminal record for certain cannabis-related convictions.

Additionally, Delaware moved forward with proposed amendments to its list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana patient eligibility.

New Jersey’s A3620 would establish an expedited expungement process for certain marijuana or marijuana-related criminal offenses. The bill would also create an Expungement Coordinator Program to provide assistance to individuals with the preparation and filing of the application to clear criminal records. However, the bill is contingent upon the approval of a law legalizing or decriminalizing possession and consumption of marijuana.

Sponsored by Democratic Assembly member Arthur Barclay, A3620 was scheduled for a hearing on Monday June 4, 2018, before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in Trenton. The committee heard a number of testimonies from local community leaders and organizations including officials from the New Jersey chapters of the NAACP and the ACLU. The bill will likely move to a committee vote during the next session.

Meanwhile, Delaware’s SB 197 also addresses criminal records. It would provide mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession or consumption of cannabis prior to decriminalization on December 18, 2015. To be eligible for the record expungement, individuals must have only a marijuana conviction and no other charges.

SB 197  went before the Senate Health, Children and Social Services Committee on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Dover. The bill was voted out of committee on its merits, meaning that legislators recommended the Chamber take action on the legislation, but do not take a position for or against the bill. Additionally, an amendment was made to the bill clarifying eligibility for the mandatory expungement and corrects a typographical error. The bill will now move to the Senate floor.

Also in Delaware, HB 374 would expand the list of debilitating conditions that may qualify individuals for medical marijuana. The bill would qualify anyone suffering from glaucoma, chronic debilitating migraines, pediatric autism spectrum disorder, or pediatric sensory processing disorder, if a licensed physician certifies the patient.

HB 374  went before the Senate Health, Children & Social Services Committee on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Dover. The bill was voted out of committee on its merits with one amendment to remove pediatric autism spectrum disorder and pediatric sensory processing disorder from the definition of debilitating medical condition. The bill will now move to the Senate floor.

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