(Seth McConnell, Denver Post file)

Proposal to seal minor pot convictions dies in Colorado Senate

A bill that would allow those previously convicted of marijuana offenses that would be legal today under Amendment 64 to seal their records was killed Thursday by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee on a 4-3 vote.

The vote came less than 24 hours after the bill’s co-sponsors, Sens. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, and Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, pushed it through the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. That vote was 3-2, with one of the dissenting voices, Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, saying she felted rushed and asking the sponsors if they would consider sending the measure to an interim committee where it could be studied over the summer.

Related: Colo. court ruling could overturn thousands of convictions — or dozens

Senate Bill 218, which was only introduced Tuesday night, would allow residents to file a petition with district courts to have their pot records sealed. Under pressure from opponents on Wednesday, Ulibarri and Marble added amendments to make sure the new law would only apply to those who were convicted of using pot for personal use or growing no more than six marijuana plants. Another amendment gave law enforcement officials the right to be notified and review the cases of those trying to have their records sealed.

“After we did the amendments, the appropriations Committee felt the bill really didn’t change the status quo from current law enough,” Ulibarri said. “So they voted against it today, but we’ll continue the conversation and see what we can do for next year.”

Online: Senate Bill 218

This story was first published on The Spot