Gov. Polis pardons more than 2,700 marijuana convictions

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DENVER (KDVR) — Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order Thursday granting pardons to those who have been convicted of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.

In June, Gov. Polis signed the bipartisan H.B. 20-1424, sponsored by Rep. James Coleman, Sen. Julie Gonzales and Sen. Vicki Marble, including an amendment sponsored by Sen. Gonzales, which authorizes the Governor to grant pardons to a class of defendants who were convicted of the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. The new law went into effect this month. 

“We are finally cleaning up some of the inequities of the past by pardoning 2,732 convictions for Coloradans who simply had an ounce of marijuana or less. It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” said Gov. Polis. 

According to the release on Thursday, the pardon applies to state-level convictions of possession for one ounce or less of marijuana, as identified by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

The individuals who have these convictions did not need to apply for pardons, and the Governor’s Office has not conducted individual assessments of the people who have been pardoned through this process, according to the governor’s office. 

“Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing, and countless other areas of their lives. Today we are taking this step toward creating a more just system and breaking down barriers to help transform people’s lives as well as coming to terms with one aspect of the past, failed policy of marijuana prohibition.” shared Gov. Polis.

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