DENVER — It’s an opportunity for a fresh start. So far, Denver’s held a couple of clinics for it’s Turn Over A New Leaf Program, offering to wipe clean certain marijuana-related crimes before legalization.
“Not only are they gone, but there was no record that they were ever there before,” said Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson.
Bronson says the expungements help residents with applications from housing to jobs.
“We’re hoping to eliminate the impacts of the stigma that goes with those convictions,” Bronson said.
But there is a problem: the city is seeing a lot of people apply who don’t qualify. So far the city has received 180 applications, but only 38 people qualify. That number could go up since some of those applications are still pending.
Bronson says they’re not eligible for two main reasons: either the crime happened outside of Denver’s jurisdiction, or the offense isn’t considered low level.
Qualifying marijuana-related convictions are possessions of small amounts (less than an ounce), possession of paraphernalia or possession of a dozen marijuana plants or less. Basically anything that is now legal in Denver. Convictions for things that are still considered illegal, like public consumption, would not qualify.
The city has an application form where you can see if you qualify.
State lawmakers say there is an interest in seeing if there could be a way to implement Denver’s program across the state, but any bill has yet to be introduced.
The next clinic will be held on Wednesday at Servicios de La Raza from 5 to 8 p.m.