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Bipartisan Group Aims to Clear Cannabis Convictions

A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives that call themselves “strange bedfellows” is working together to clear federal cannabis-related convictions off the records of nonviolent offenders, CBS News reports.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware) and 20 of her fellow Congressional Black Caucus members have teamed up with Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) to introduce the Clean Slate Act, a bill that would seal the records of non-violent cannabis convicts who remain crime-free for at least a year following their release from prison.

Rep. Blunt Rochester, who first coined the term “strange bedfellows” to describe the group, said, “we would work with anyone who is willing to get it done.”

“We have people who are at the extremes almost of the continuum, and I think that’s an unusual thing especially in today’s (political) climate.” — Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware), in an interview with CBS News

The Clean Slate Act also enjoys the support of two other unlikely political allies: the Koch Brothers-aligned FreedomWorks, an organization that fights for “lower taxes, less government, and more freedom,” and the Center for American Progress, a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization. Normally, the two groups would find themselves on the opposite sides of nearly any other political issue.

“Folks want bipartisanship,” said Rep. Blum, who called the bill “common-sense” legislation.


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