Paul Loney Interviewed by KOBI-TV for News Story on SB 420 – Easing Expungment for Cannabis Convictions

April 9, 2019

Paul Loney was interviewed by Medford’s KOBI channel 5 for their story on Oregon SB 420.  This bill would simply the procedure for getting marijuana convictions expunged.  Currently, an individual has to wait a minimum of three years after the conviction, pay a filing fee, pay a fee to the State Police to conduct a background check, and wait to see if the District Attorney will oppose the motion to seal the records.  Some counties provide do-it-yourself forms, some do not.

A felony conviction for marijuana, even with it now legal in Oregon, still has severe consequences.  Many landlords will automatically not rent to those with a conviction, as well as many employers will not hire people with marijuana convictions, no matter how old.  A person’s credit history is also impacted.  Many schools will not let felons volunteer.

The bill had a public hearing on Friday, April 5th, and a work session to discuss amendments was scheduled for today, April 9th.  Stay tuned for more details.


KOBI story follows:

A proposed Oregon Senate bill discussed in Salem today aims to clear the criminal records of anyone convicted of misdemeanor marijuana charges before 2014; that’s when voters made it legal recreationally.

Before marijuana became legal, possessing, delivering, or manufacturing marijuana was either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the crime. But after measure 91 legalized marijuana, people still had criminal records for previous pot convictions.

To get a marijuana charge off your record, whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor, you can get it expunged or erased. The process often requires an attorney taking anywhere from 3 to 6 months and can cost a lot of money.

“A lot of people who are, you know, living on the edge may not have enough money to go through the expungement process or may not know how to do it,” said Paul Loney, attorney.

Advocates of the bill say having past marijuana convictions on your record makes it difficult to get jobs, housing, and much more.

They’re hoping marijuana felonies will be included on the bill as well.

The bill will be discussed again Monday.

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