Anyone guilty of a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge in the city of Spokane will soon be able to have the conviction removed from his or her criminal record.
The Spokane City Council voted 6-0 on Monday to allow those convictions to be vacated.
But the convictions won’t go away automatically.
City Council President Ben Stuckart said he expects that by early next year those with possession convictions will be able to fill out a form with Spokane’s Municipal Court at the Public Safety Building to have the conviction vacated.
Supporters argued that the recent legalization of recreational marijuana made it unfair to penalize those who had been convicted of a low-level marijuana crime. Those with the conviction could face difficulties finding housing and jobs, officials said.
Councilman Jon Snyder was absent from Monday’s meeting.
From 1997 to 2012, 1,817 convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession were delivered in Spokane Municipal Court, according to court data included in a city briefing paper.The decision doesn’t affect offenses in Spokane County District Court.