Federal dollars for marijuana expungements
A bill currently making its way through Congress called the Harnassing Opportunities for Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act would try to help rectify this. The bill would send money to states to fund marijuana-crime expungement programs. The HOPE Act may have a hard time passing on its own, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the bill’s sponsor, House Rep. David Joyce of Ohio, are thinking about a new strategy. They are considering combining the HOPE Act with the SAFE Banking Act, a bill that would reform how banks lend money to marijuana-related businesses.
The thought is that combining the two bills into one would attract votes from progressive lawmakers. The added expungement funding component would increase the SAFE Banking Act’s chances of passing, is the thinking.
Will this bill really pass?
However, there is no guarantee that this strategy will work or that expunging a marijuana crime from your record will get easier anytime soon. As of now, you still must wait the state-imposed waiting period and not get convicted of any other crimes during those years. The process takes time, and there is no guarantee of success. But working with an attorney who regularly handles criminal expungements can greatly increase your odds and reduce delays.