Governor Inslee To Pardon Thousands Of Cannabis Convictions

Governor Jay Inslee [D] was at the annual Washington Cannabis Summit in Seatac Friday where he announced an initiative to clear around 3,500 minor marijuana convictions that are still lingering on peoples’ records seven years after the state voted to legalize adult use.

Through Inslee’s Marijuana Justice Initiative, anyone with a single misdemeanor possession charge between 1998 and 2012 will be eligible to participate in the expedited online application process and request to have the conviction expunged. Individuals must have been prosecuted under state law and not local.

“We have people who have this burden on their shoulders from a simple, one-time marijuana possession from maybe 20 years ago, and that’s impeding the ability of people to live their lives,” said Governor Inslee in an interview. “It can damage their ability to get financing on a home; it can damage their ability to get financing for colleges, even simple things like going on a field trip with your kids.”

The governor’s office will review applications and grant pardons to those that are eligible. Any that are denied or require further investigation will be then handled by the Washington Clemency and Pardons Board.

Applicants who receive approval will have the convictions erased from their criminal history as well as public records, though they will remain in court documents unless the person requests to have them removed.