Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued nearly 3,000 pardons for low-level marijuana convictions on Thursday, making good on calls to clear the records of people convicted of offenses no longer illegal under state law. The Democratic governor issued the pardons for thousands of convictions for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana going back decades, according to a press release from Polis’ office.
“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, “ Polis said. “It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success.”
Polis issued the pardons under the authority of a new law that allows the governor to grant pardons to a class of defendants who were convicted of possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. The bipartisan measure, which also includes social equity provisions for Colorado’s regulated cannabis industry, was passed in June and went into effect this month.
The pardons granted by Polis through an executive order issued on Thursday apply to state-level convictions for possession of one