Nevada Bill Would Erase Some Past Marijuana Convictions

(image via kolo tv)

I have family and friends that live in Nevada, and a few of them have had run ins with law enforcement and were in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. They were always fortunate enough to not have their marijuana found by the officer and went on to fight another day. But a lot of other people weren’t so lucky. Prior to Question 2 taking effect, possession of marijuana was a crime in Nevada, and a lot of people were charged and convicted.

Having a marijuana conviction on a person’s record and/or having to have served jail time can really harm a person’s chances of succeeding in life. It’s very, very hard to get a fair chance in life when you have the ‘marijuana scarlet letter’ on your record. A lot of places won’t hire you, and some places won’t even rent a place to you. It’s not right. In Nevada, even though marijuana is legal, a lot of people are still experiencing the aftermath of prohibition. A bill was recently introduced that would help fix that. Per Reno Gazette Journal:

A Nevada bill would do away with the sentences of defendants who were convicted of possessing an ounce or less of recreational marijuana before it became legal on Jan. 1 this year.

Assemblyman William McCurdy II introduced Assembly Bill 259 this week to the Assembly’s Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation in an effort to allow judges to depart from previously prescribed minimum sentences as related to simple marijuana possession charges.

“Mandatory minimum sentencing is more damaging than it is helpful. Nevada voted in November, and our laws must reflect those results,” said McCurdy, speaking about the passage of Question 2.

Hopefully this bill passes and it helps people get their lives back on track. To be punished for possessing marijuana is ridiculous enough, but to have to continue to live with the stigma that goes along with having a criminal record for marijuana…that’s a very sad thing. My father was convicted of three marijuana felonies, and his life was hindered a lot until he got his convictions expunged. No one should have to live like that. If you live in Nevada, contact your state politicians and tell them to pass this bill!

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