House Bill 316 is on its way to the Alaska Senate after a House vote of 30-10 advanced it. The bill aims to protect job seekers that have a prior simple marijuana possession conviction. Employers would not be permitted to access public records relating to these prior convictions.
Language discussing prior convictions in reference to job seekers was not part of the voter-approved recreational marijuana bill in 2014, according to KTVA News. Representative Harriet Drummond introduced the legislation.
Representative Drummond said, “This bill is not a get out of jail card; it’s a reasonable approach to allow Alaskans to get jobs currently unavailable to them because they did something that Alaskans have voted repeatedly they believe should be entirely legal.”
She also said, “This bill does not benefit drug dealers. Rather, it helps mothers and fathers clear their names from past mistakes, allows many of our friends and neighbors to apply for jobs they didn’t think they could ever get, and strengthens communities by providing new opportunities for those who continue to be held back by something that is no longer against the rules.”