ONTARIO — Are you an Oregonian with a past conviction for a marijuana-related offense that happened before July 1, 2015. For those who are, it is worth noting that a bill headed to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk, if signed, will allow individuals convicted of certain offenses to apply to have them set aside.
Senate Bill 420 passed the House 42 to 15 on Tuesday, according to a news release from the Oregon House Democrats.
The bill is only for convictions of possession, delivery and manufacturing offenses that are no longer crimes under current law.
“The criminal convictions that resulted from the war on drugs have life altering consequences,” said bill sponsor Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Happy Valley in the release. “This is the least we can do to eliminate barriers to housing, employment and education for people across the state who are still paying the price for actions that we have decriminalized.”
In addition, she said, the impact can be lifelong, extending outward to families and communities.
Because it can be an expensive process to get records expunged, the bill comes with an exemption from fees associated with the process, as well as removing the requirement for fingerprinting and a background check.
“Past convictions like these can have long-term impacts on an individual’s ability to get a job, and find a safe, secure place to live,” said bill sponsor Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland.