Colorado governor pardons 2,700 offenders with marijuana-related convictions

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Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday pardoning 2,732 residents who were convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana.

The blanket pardons were issued only to those convicted at the state level, meaning those convicted on municipal offenses were not included in the order.

“It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” said Polis in a statement.

“Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing, and countless other areas of their lives.”

Colorado was the first state in the country to legalize marijuana back in 2014, with 10 states and the District of Columbia following suit.

Colorado’s General Assembly paved the way for the pardons by passing a bill earlier this year called the “Colorado Marijuana Code” to empower the governor to execute pardons for all convictions of possession up to an ounce.

“Today we are taking this step toward creating a more just system and breaking down barriers to help transform people’s lives as well as coming to terms with one aspect of the past, failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”