MEMPHIS, Tenn. - While state marijuana laws continue to change across the country, a federal congressman from the Mid-South wants to help remove marijuana charges from people’s records.
Three Memphis-based criminal defense attorneys told FOX13 on Friday that expungement is on the minds of many Mid-South residents.
“Every week, I get calls and I tell them that I can’t do anything for them right now,” said Brandon Hall, a defense attorney at the Law Office of Brandon Hall.
Expungement is apparently on the minds of federal lawmakers, too.
A hearing called “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform” took place this week on Capitol Hill in a House subcommittee.
One bill brought up was the Fresh Start Act, a long-time bill of Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN9).
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The bill calls for expunging records of people with non-violent crimes that went seven years without a federal offense.
“It would [effect] thousands of people across Memphis,” Hall said.
FOX13 sat down with three criminal defense attorneys to talk about the effect a law like this would have here at home.
“This would completely change the paradigm that my clients are sitting in,” said Michael Campbell of The Campbell Law Firm. “This is something that’s absolutely necessary.”
Eric Mogy of the Mogy Law Firm called the bill a “total gamechanger.”
According to Campbell, having a federal record with felonies can prevent people from applying for loans and living in certain apartments.
“If you have a person who has dotted all the I’s, crossed all the T’s since that happened, we need to welcome them back in and we need to give them a way to become viable members of the community and not punish them for something they may have done in their late teens or early adulthood,” Campbell said.
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