JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Historic news coming down from Washington, D.C. Friday, the House of Representatives voted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
Josh Eason is a criminal defense attorney at Eason Law in Jonesboro, and he says this could be a “sigh of relief” for those with non-violent marijuana convictions.
“This is huge. Federally they fought it forever, and that’s when the states started taking it up on their own,” Eason said.
Several states across the nation have legalized marijuana in some form, either recreational or medical or even both.
Eason says the pressure was on.
“The fact that the states have decided to take it upon their own and so many of them have has kind of forced the feds to do something about it. Probably will not pass in the Senate this go around, but there’s a good chance in the future it will,” Eason said.
He says this just a start; there are many hurdles to get over, like the Senate.
But also how it will systemically work.
“It’s also going to be a bit of a mess. If it did pass in the Senate or when it does eventually, later on, you’re going to have a lot of people with misdemeanors and some even felony charges. And they’ve been carrying on for a long time; they may not have gotten the expunged or pardon or sealed,” Eason said. “It’s affected their lives, probably quite a bit, you know, you’ve got to disclose that on the job. It can keep you from getting the job. So the biggest thing with the past stuff is, how are we going to go back? They’re gonna have to come up with some sort of system.”
He says he has worked these cases before, and he thinks it’s time.
Adding that if and when it passes, it will impact many lives.
“Personally, I do feel like this is necessary. Honestly, I see a lot of people that come to me, only for that. And this is the only thing they’ve ever been in trouble for, and some of them, maybe popped twice for it. But, you know, this is the only thing they do other than that, they do not have a criminal history, but now they do. This is a game-changer,” Eason said.