CO Governor Polis Pardons 1,351 Cannabis Convictions

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has issued pardons for cannabis convictions that no longer apply under current state law.

On Thursday, December 30, Governor Polis announced that he had granted three commutations, fifteen individual pardons.

Governor Polis also signed an Executive Order granting 1,351 pardons for cannabis possession convictions for two ounces or less.

Cannabis-Forward Legislation

On May 20, 2021, Governor Polis signed House Bill 2021-1090, increasing legal cannabis possession limits from one ounce to two.

The bill builds upon an Amendment 64 precedent from 2012 and the bipartisan House Bill 20-1424, which authorized the governor to pardon a class of defendants with convictions for up to two ounces of cannabis.

According to a press release, individuals did not need to apply for pardons, and the Governor’s Office did not conduct individual assessments of the people pardoned through the process.

The pardons were applicable at the state level.

People convicted of municipal cannabis crimes, arrested, or issued summonses without a conviction were not included in the pardon.

“Adults can legally possess marijuana in Colorado, just as they can beer or wine,” says Governor Polis. “It’s unfair that 1,351 additional Coloradans had permanent blemishes on their record that interfered with employment, credit, and gun ownership, but today we have fixed that by pardoning their possession of small amounts of marijuana that occurred during the failed prohibition era.”

Anyone unsure whether a conviction on their record was pardoned may complete a form to request a pardon confirmation on the Colorado Bureau of Investigations website.

To access their complete criminal history, individuals may visit

After a conviction has been pardoned, it will not appear in criminal history search results on the website.


Governor Polis granted commutations to Ronald Johnson, Nicholas Wells, and Rogel Aguilera-Mederos.

According to Governor Polis, Johnson is granted parole effective January 15, 2022, with terms and conditions to be set by the Parole Board.

Wells is eligible for parole on January 15, 2022, and Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence is reduced to ten years.

Governor Polis granted pardons to Travis Cleveland, Anthony Formby, Rudolph Garcia, Stephanie Gssime, Michael Jordan, Timothy Lewis, Reginald McGriff, Henry Moreno, Joseph Murillo, Michael Navarro, Ryan Nguyen, Shawn Phillips, Armando Solano, Mohammed Suleiman, and Theresa Yoder.

In 2019, Governor Polis recreated the Executive Clemency Advisory Board, which reviews clemency applications and recommends commutations and pardons.

Governor Polis stated that he recently learned that a relative of Aguilera-Mederos’ attorney works in the Governor’s Office, though they had no involvement in the commutation process as they work in an unrelated capacity to the matter.

According to Governor Polis, the relative was not aware of the decision in advance.