A large number of Coloradans with past cannabis convictions received a pardon from the governor this week.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis, on Thursday, October 1 signed an executive order granting pardons to individuals with past convictions for an ounce or less of cannabis.
The pardons are possible through Polis’ June signing of HB 20-1424, which authorized the Governor to grant pardons to defendants with convictions for possession of up to two ounces of cannabis.
The pardons apply to state-level convictions, as detailed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Individuals convicted of municipal cannabis crimes, and those who were issued a summons without a conviction were not included in the pardon.
“We are 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,” says Governor Polis. “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.”
Governor Polis says that past convictions for a now-legalized substance have followed people for many years, impacting their employment status, housing eligibility, and other areas of their lives.
Polis says that Colorado is taking a step to create a more just system, helping to change people’s lives, and coming to terms with failed cannabis prohibition policies of the past.
People receiving the pardons did not need to apply for them, and the Governor’s Office assessed each person individually.
Once a conviction is pardoned, it will not appear on the CBI records check website.