DENVER — People with low-level marijuana convictions in Denver now have the opportunity to get the convictions expunged from their records. The opportunity applies to people who were convicted of a minor marijuana-related crime in the city of Denver when marijuana use was illegal on the state level in Colorado.
Low-level crimes include any offense that was based on conduct that is legal under current law, including possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana.
“When I applied for jobs, nobody could hire me,” Kacy Denolf said. She was convicted of a marijuana crime when recreational use was not legal.
Denolf is trying to get charges removed. She says for 10 years, it has been hard to get a job and find a place to stay.
“They did find a small grow — about four plants — and then an eighth of marijuana. And at that point, [I] was arrested,” Denolf said.
Now that recreational marijuana use is legal, Denver city leaders want people like Denolf to have a new start. That’s why they started the “Turn Over A New Leaf” program.
“We believe no one should be prevented from getting these jobs and having access to these opportunities for things that are now legal,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.
The mayor worked with the city and district attorneys to make it possible to the charges dropped. On Saturday, there was a clinic open to start the process.
“This is not a difficult process. It’s not complicated. Come on in, you don’t need an attorney. We want to make it as quick and painless as possible so you can get on your way and on with the rest of your lives,” said City Attorney Kristin Bronson.
Sponsorships from the marijuana industry have made it possible to waive the fees associated with the process.