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Public Records Restriction for Past Marijuana Convictions Passes Alaska House


April 15, 2018
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) to protect Alaskans’ ability to go to work despite past convictions for marijuana possession.

Banditos - Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council - Ketchikan, Alaska

House Bill 316 restricts public access to records related to simple marijuana possession in the wake of voter approval of legalization in Alaska in November of 2014. The bill also calls for the Alaska CourtView system to be wiped clean of all marijuana convictions classified as a VIA misdemeanor. The citizens’ initiative allowed the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana but failed to address how to deal with those previously convicted of marijuana possession.

“This bill is not a get out of jail card; it’s a reasonable approach to allow Alaskans to get jobs currently unavailable to them because they did something that Alaskans have voted repeatedly they believe should be entirely legal,” said Rep. Drummond.

Drummond said, “This bill does not benefit drug dealers. Rather, it helps mothers and fathers clear their names from past mistakes, allows many of our friends and neighbors to apply for jobs they didn’t think they could ever get, and strengthens communities by providing new opportunities for those who continue to be held back by something that is no longer against the rules.” [Alaska rules.]

House Bill 316 passed the House by a vote of 30-10, it now heads to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

And on Friday, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation to ease an overly burdensome regulation that requires annual fingerprinting of those seeking to renew their marijuana establishment registration. House Bill 319 changes the fingerprinting requirement to once every six years. 

“I believe that thoroughly vetting registrations for this new industry in Alaska is vital to protect public safety. It’s also essential in giving the public confidence that the marijuana industry is well regulated and entirely legal and above board,” said HB 319 sponsor Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage). “However, the current regulations requiring registration applicants to resubmit fingerprints every year are overly burdensome on these small business owners. Changing the requirement to once every six years still protects the public interest while showing our support for common-sense regulations that support small business owners and these hard-working entrepreneurs.”

The proposed change to submit fingerprints once every six years for marijuana businesses in Alaska is supported by both the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development and the burgeoning marijuana industry in Alaska. 

House Bill 319 passed the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, April 13th by a vote of 38-0. The bill will be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.


On the Web:

House Bill 319

House Bill 316


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



Source of News:

Alaska House Majority Coalition



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