Nevada residents convicted of simple marijuana possession could get a new lease on life if one state lawmaker gets his way. Introduced by Assemblyman William McCurdy II, Assembly Bill 259 would vacate the convictions of Nevada residents who had been caught with one ounce or less of marijuana before Jan. 1, 2017.
The bill would also make it possible for those convicted on drugs charges who show “good cause” to become eligible for early release and would replace mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession in favor of substance abuse treatment.
Although some marijuana advocates have hailed the measure, some argue that the measure does not go far enough. Speaking with the Las Vegas Sun, John Jones of the Nevada District Attorneys Association argues that marijuana convictions should be sealed instead of vacated.
“I would hate for a defendant to think they file a motion to vacate a judgement, that judgement gets dismissed and for them to think the process is finished because it isn’t,” Jones said. “With a sealing, any record of the arrest goes away as well as any record of the court proceeding.”
Assembly Bill 259 has been referred to the Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation where it awaits approval.