Expungement moves are happening in Arizona and Louisiana, Mexico's president says he could get behind peace agreements with drug cartels, and more.
Arizona Appeals Court Expands Scope of Marijuana Expungements. The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that expungement can be applied to sale-related marijuana offenses as well as possession offenses. State law reads that "possessing, consuming, or transporting" up to 2.5 ounces of weed or up to six plants are offenses eligible for expungement. In the case before the court, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that an expungement request for the offense of solicitation to commit possession of marijuana for sale did not comply with the state law, but the appeals court held that the offenses of "possessing" or "transporting" marijuana included marijuana for sale and ordered the lower court to grant the expungement request.
California Senate Approves Bill Barring Employers from Asking About Past Marijuana Use. The state Senate has approved Senate Bill 700, which would bar employers from asking potential new hires about past marijuana use. The vote was 29-9. The bill builds on existing employment protections enacted last year barring employers from penalizing most workers for off-duty marijuana use. The bill now heads to the Assembly.
Louisiana Marijuana Expungement Streamlining Bill Advances. A bill to streamline expungements for first-time marijuana possession offenders, House Bill 286, has already passed the House and on Wednesday was approved by the Senate Judiciary C Committee. The next stop for the bill is a Senate floor vote. Under current law, people seeking expungement for possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana have to wait five years after conviction. This bill cuts the waiting period to 90 days. But people would have to pay up to $300 in fees for the privilege.
. Responding to an activist's open letter to drug cartels asking them to stop the practice of forced disappearances—where people are not just killed but completely erased, their bodies dissolved in acid or burned to ash, and their friends and family are left with no idea of what happened to them—President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said he would support an agreement with some of the country's most powerful and violent drug cartels if he helped stop the violence that has wracked the country for nearly two decades.
The number of people who have been forcibly disappeared in Mexico in the last 15 years number more than 50,000, with around 40,000 of them disappearing during AMLO's term of office. Another 30,000 a year have died in cartel violence during his term.