Oregon: Governor Signs Marijuana Expungement Measure Into Law

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has signed legislation, Senate Bill 420, to facilitate the expungement of past marijuana convictions.

The measure establishes procedures for persons previously found guilty of low-level (up to one ounce) marijuana possession offenses to file a motion with the court to have their convictions set aside. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within 30 days. The proposal expands upon prior legislation, enacted in 2015, which sought to make it easier for those with past marijuana convictions to have their records expunged.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

The policy is similar to marijuana-related expungement laws recently enacted in a number of states, including Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington. California law automatically expunges past marijuana convictions. Late last week, lawmakers in New York State approved legislation establishing procedures for the automatic expungement of past, low-level marijuana convictions. That legislation awaits action from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Earlier this month, Gov. Brown signed legislation, Senate Bill 970, prohibiting landlords from taking discriminatory action against those who either use medical cannabis or possess cannabis-related convictions. The Governor also signed Senate Bill 582, which seeks to authorize Oregon to enter into agreements with regard to exporting cannabis to other states.

Additional information on pending marijuana legislation is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center.’