Senate Appropriations kills bill to seal records of minor marijuana convictions

By Jeffrey A. Roberts
CFOIC Executive Director

A bill to ease the process for sealing the records of marijuana crimes now legal in Colorado didn’t last long in the state Legislature.

The Senate Appropriations Committee killed SB 14-218 less than a day after the Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly passed the measure with some amendments.  One revision clarified that the bill, introduced earlier this week, applied only to misdemeanor convictions involving possession of small amounts of pot or up to six plants for personal use.

SB 14-218 was intended to help people who have trouble getting jobs, loans and housing because their records reveal minor marijuana convictions.

“I understand what you’re trying to do but I’m not sure this bill is quite the right way to go about it, and I think we have a current law that covers quite a bit of this,” Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, told the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, and Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins.

Steadman successfully sponsored legislation last year to allow the sealing of petty-offense conviction records. Lawmakers indicted they will continue to study the possible sealing of pot conviction records over the summer.

Follow the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition on Twitter @CoFOIC. Like CFOIC’s Facebook page. Visit CFOIC’s legislature page to track bills in the General Assembly that could affect the flow or availability of information in Colorado.

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