Las Vegas Sun

August 14, 2018

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Some cities are tossing old cannabis convictions. Will Nevada?

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Steve Marcus

A view of Real Sun Grown marijuana buds at Canopi, a marijuana dispensary at 6540 Blue Diamond Rd., Monday July 3, 2017.

Some California cities such as San Diego and San Francisco are automatically tossing misdemeanor marijuana convictions. Basically, if what you did then is legal now, your record is free and clear. No muss, no fuss.

Will Nevada adopt this policy? This past summer, Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill that would have helped with vacating past marijuana convictions. His reason? The bill was too broad, and he’d approved other ways for people to get their records sealed.

But where does that leave low-income individuals with little resources who may need their records sealed in order to secure a job or other benefits? Will the least among us have the know-how and ability to navigate the court systems? We’ll likely have to wait until the next election for the needle to move in any direction. In the meantime, help comes from an unlikely source. The billionaire Koch Brothers are pushing criminal justice and prison reform.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., is taking it one step further: “Nevada has proven that a regulated market is always better than a black market. It is time for the nation to follow,” she tweeted. “That is why I am co-sponsoring a bill to de-schedule marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.”