U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) have announced the Clean Slate Act, along with 22 original cosponsors, which would automatically seal the records for marijuana charges one year after the sentence is completed.
The Clean Slate Act, in part, states: “At the time of sentencing of a covered individual for a conviction pursuant to section 404 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 844) or of any Federal nonviolent offense involving marijuana, the court shall enter an order that each record and portion thereof that relates to the offense shall be sealed automatically on the date that is one year after the covered individual fulfills each requirement of the sentence, except that such record shall not be sealed if the individual has been convicted of a subsequent criminal offense.”
Individuals saddled with a marijuana possession conviction are disproportionately either people of color or at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder, and it is essential that they are not held back from being able to obtain employment, housing, access to higher education, and all of the other necessities of being an active participant in their community.
Having been arrested merely for marijuana possession does not make one a bad person, but rather a victim of a cruel public policy.