The Vermont House on Friday approved a bill that would automatically expunge the criminal records of those convicted of possessing two ounces or less of marijuana.
The bill, S.234, which advanced in a preliminary vote of 113-10, would also decriminalize possession of between one and two ounces of the substance.
Currently, possession of only up to one ounce of marijuana is legal — possessing between one and two ounces is a misdemeanor offense.
The Legislature’s efforts to erase misdemeanor marijuana possession charges come as the House and Senate have nearly reached a deal on legislation that would create a legal marketplace for marijuana sales in the state.
Lawmakers have championed the legislation as an important racial justice measure. People of color have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana charges in the United States.