Colorado Governor Pardons Minor Marijuana Offenses

Pardons Issued

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently issued an order to pardon over 2,500 people who have been convicted of low-level marijuana crimes, here meaning possession of one ounce or less. The authority for this action derives from House Bill 20-1424, which Polis signed in June of this year and which allows for pardons in possession cases of up to two ounces. Amid nationwide disagreement across state lines and between tiers of government as to the legality of marijuana, the governor’s order at least provides relief to people left to struggle with the consequences of a drug conviction long after personal use of marijuana was made lawful in Colorado in 2012.

Things to Be Aware Of

The pardons apply only to state charges, not municipal violations, and a pardon does not hide a case; people granted pardons who wish to suppress their criminal history would still need to go through the established process for sealing. Moreover, those granted pardons are not notified automatically, so the governor’s office has stated that anyone curious whether a conviction on their record has been pardoned should fill out a request for information form available on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation website.


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