Blumenauer aims to clear minor pot charges

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a longtime proponent of legalizing marijuana, will introduce a bill to help those convicted of pot crimes for offenses that are no longer illegal.

Blumenauer’s bill would address people who grew, distributed or possessed marijuana in states where it is now legal.

“Over 1100 people over the past 10 years were arrested for things that actually are now legal under state law,” the congressman said Monday.

The bill would have no statute of limitations, so any federal conviction that meets the following criteria could be challenged:

— Anyone federally charged for now-legal activity involving pot in the stte they were in at the time

— Anyone whose offense was possessing an ounce or less of marijuana.

There are also limitations to the bill.

“This is just a minor possession of pot, a small amount and being able to clear the record of that,” Blumenauer said. “It has nothing to do with big scale dealers, people that may have been involved with inappropriate behavior or criminal behavior where marijuana was involved.”

The bill may take a while to work its way through the US House.

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