R Street Institute Endorses Joyce’s Bipartisan HOPE Act

Apr 28, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) announced that the R Street Institute has endorsed the Harnessing Opportunities By Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act, which would assist state and local governments in establishing and expanding expungement programs for cannabis offenses.

“The R Street Institute is happy to endorse The Harnessing Opportunities By Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act, and we applaud Rep. Dave Joyce’s focus on aiding states working to expunge certain cannabis related convictions,” said Anthony Lamorena, Federal Affairs Manager of the R Street Institute. “This bipartisan bill will give states and localities the targeted resources they need to automatically expunge the cannabis convictions of countless individuals across the country which, in turn, will break down barriers for those reentering society. Critically, this legislation helps states update the infrastructure needed to implement these automated expungements to improve public safety. The streamlined process resulting from the HOPE Act will greatly help local jurisdictions and the formerly incarcerated alike.”   

“Having been both a public defender and a prosecutor, I have seen first-hand how cannabis-related records can foreclose a lifetime of opportunities,” said Congressman Joyce. “By empowering states to expunge minor cannabis offenses, the HOPE Act will help remove barriers preventing people from achieving their American dream and pave the way for millions to reach their full personal and professional potential. R Street Institute’s endorsement highlights how this bipartisan bill can build consensus needed to become law and actually achieve the reform that the American people are calling for.”

The HOPE Act would create a new grant program under the U.S. Department of Justice, the State Expungement Opportunity Grant Program, and authorize it to be funded up to $20 million over the span of Fiscal Years 2023-2032. Through this grant program, the Attorney General would be authorized to make grants to states and local governments to reduce the financial and administrative burden of expunging convictions for cannabis offenses that States have made available to individuals who have been convicted of such offenses under the laws of the State. 

Outside of Joyce’s HOPE Act, both President Biden and Congress’ cannabis expungement efforts have focused solely on federal crimes. However, while a small number of individuals may qualify for the expungement of low-level, federal cannabis charges over the course of decades of enforcement, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of cannabis-related charges are handled by state and local law enforcement. In 2019, the federal government was only involved in a fraction of the 545,000 cannabis offenses charged in the United States. That year, the FBI charged only 5,350 individuals with a top-line charge for any drug offense, not just cannabis. The ACLU estimates that around 14 million Americans suffer the consequences of cannabis-related arrest records at the state and local level over the past two decades.

Conservative in approach but progressive in scope, the HOPE Act has garnered support from across the ideological spectrum, including: Americans for Prosperity, Drug Policy Alliance, the Last Prisoner ProjectWeldon AngelosU.S. Cannabis CouncilCoalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation, NORML, National Cannabis Roundtable, National Cannabis Industry Association, National Medicinal Cannabis Coalition, Metrc, and more.


Recent Posts

May 20, 2022

Joyce Bill to Protect Border Patrol Agents from Fentanyl Passes Homeland Security Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security advanced Congressman Dave Joyce’s (OH-14) bill, the PREVENT Act, to protect Customs and Border Protection (CBP) frontline personnel when handling illicit drugs. In FY2021, CBP seized a total of 624,500 pounds of drugs, including 11,203 pounds of fentanyl which is enough to kill the entire U.S. population […]

May 19, 2022

Joyce, Donalds Lead Effort to Compel Answers from Biden Administration on Disinformation Governance Board

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) introduced a Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) to compel the Biden Administration to turn over documents relating to the creation, implementation, and pause of its Disinformation Governance Board under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Congressman Byron Donalds (FL-19) is joining him in leading this important effort. “Like many back home in […]

May 11, 2022

Joyce Again Named Among Most Bipartisan Members of Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) announced he was ranked as the 16th most bipartisan Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and the 31st most bipartisan member among all 435 Representatives on both sides of the aisle. These rankings cover legislative activity for 2021. The previous year, Joyce was ranked as the 22nd most […]