Pot-related bills advance in Wash. Legislature

Published On: Feb 21 2013 02:52:03 PM PST

Two marijuana-related bills are advancing in Olympia.

A House committee on Thursday OK'd a measure that would let people quickly vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions in Washington state. And a Senate committee advanced a measure providing arrest protection for patients under the state's medical marijuana law.

Both votes came ahead of a deadline Friday for bills dealing with policy matters to be passed out of committee.

Washington voters last fall approved Initiative 502, legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults over 21. The House bill is designed to clear the records of people convicted of minor pot-related crimes in the past -- activity that's now legal under state law.

The Senate bill is designed to make it clear that police should not arrest medical marijuana patients.