By Anthony Martinelli, TheJointBlog.com
Yesterday Washington State's House Committee on Public Safety voted on the side of justice, and approved House Bill 1661, moving it towards a full House vote. The bill would allow those convicted of a cannabis possession misdemeanor - which includes charges of up to 40 grams, and applies for those 18 and older - to have it removed from their record. The committee voted 6-5 in favor of the bill.
The primary sponsor of the measure, Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (you can find a Q&A we did with him here), stated that chances are "really good" it would pass the House. Newly elected Governor Jay Inslee hasn't stated his position on the bill, but it would be unlikely for him to veto such legislation if it's brought to his desk. Its fate in the Republican-controlled Senate is less than certain, but its passage isn't an impossibility, especially considering that the measure has multiple Republican sponsors.
For Washington State voters and supporters of this measure, it's urgent that you contact your district's legislators and ask them to support House Bill 1661.