HB1269 takes the criminal justice reforms of SQ780 (passed by the voters in 2016) and allows the state Pardon & Parole Board to apply the sentencing guidelines to individuals who were serving or charged with a felony possession during that time.
The Joint Conference Committee amended the original language so that district courts would not be involved, but rather, the parole board would hear the cases and make final recommendations to the governor.
This would not apply to those who either committed a violent crime or were involved in distribution of controlled substances.
This is a huge victory for patients who were treated with cannabis medicines for chronic conditions before the state authorized the medical option.
There were a few more than a dozen who opposed this reform. And certainly the District Attorneys are very vocal in opposition. Several of those who voted 'nay' were also staunch opponents of SQ788 and any current program to allow patients to utilize cannabis medicines for their very serious health conditions.
The Senate is expected to approve this final language and send it to the governor within the next few days.
the bill is a collaborative work of Democrat Rep. Jason Dunnington & Majority Floor Leader Rep. Jon Echols.