Over 2700 low-level marijuana convictions in Colorado are slated to be pardoned thanks to a plan by Governor Jared Polis. Earlier this year, the governor signed a bill that gives him the authority to execute such an executive order.
According to Governor Polis, the pardon is a catch-up between Colorado residents and what the law is today.
The General Assembly passed House Bill 1424 this year. The bill has a provision that permits the governor to pardon criminal records of anyone convicted of possessing marijuana 2 ounces or less. This is the current legal threshold for marijuana users in the state.
However, Polis’ pardon will only be applied to state court convictions through 2012. Convictions in other states or municipal courts are left out. It will also only take care of those charged with one ounce or less, which subscribes to the Colorado Amendment 64 that was voted for in 2012.
The governor confirmed that the exact number of convictions to be pardoned was not available yet. This is due to the possibility of one individual getting convicted and pardoned in more than one case. Polis also said that his office worked with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations to determine those qualifying for the pardon through criminal histories.
The Colorado governor’s pardon is different from what is seen in Denver and Boulder when expunging marijuana convictions. Those Qualifying for Polis’ amnesty will not be needed to apply.
Colorado joins a host of states that have put protocols in place to pardon low-level marijuana convictions. So far, Nevada has seen 15000 convictions automatically pardoned. This is in contrast with the automatic process that has been set in motion by Polis.
Guidelines to see those qualified for the pardon can be seen here.