House OKs bill to vacate some marijuana convictions

April 16, 2019 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — People with previous misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions in Washington state are a step closer to more easily having those convictions vacated.

The bill passed the House on a bipartisan 69-29 vote Tuesday. Because the House amended the measure, the bill heads back to the Senate — where it passed last month — for a final vote.

Under current law, a sentencing court already has the discretion to vacate an applicant’s misdemeanor conviction record, except in several circumstances, including where criminal charges are pending against the person, fewer than three years have passed since they completed their sentence, or if they’ve been convicted of a new crime since the date of conviction.

The measure that passed the House Tuesday would require the court to vacate any applicant’s conviction record provided they were 21 or older when the prior misdemeanor marijuana conviction occurred.