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Congressional Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Record Sealing And Other Drug Policy Bills In Key Committee

A key House committee has approved a series of criminal justice reform bills—including bipartisan proposals to clear records for prior federal marijuana convictions, provide funding for states that implement systems of automatic expungements and codify retroactive relief for people incarcerated due to on crack-cocaine sentencing disparities.

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), advanced the measures, as well as other bills unrelated to drug policy, during a hearing on Wednesday. This action comes about five months after the full chamber passed a cannabis legalization bill for the second time that also included expungements provisions.

A Senate legalization bill sponsored by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was filed in July, but the expectation is that it will not advance given that it’s unlikely it would garner enough support to meet the 60-vote threshold in the chamber.

But bipartisan and bicameral talk about enacting incremental reform has picked up, with an expectation that the Senate will soon file a package of modest marijuana bills that could include other expungement-related proposals. Those reform bills aren’t the ones that the committee marked up on Wednesday, however.

Nadler, speaking about a bill to provide funding to states for expungement

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