Oregon governor pardons thousands for pot convictions

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced Monday that she will pardon an estimated 45,000 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana. did the same under federal law.

“No one deserves to forever bear the consequences of a conviction for mere possession of marijuana,” said Brown, who has over $14 million in outstanding fines and fees.This crime is no longer on record in Oregon. Not.

Biden has called on state governors to grant pardons to those convicted of state marijuana offenses, reflecting the majority of marijuana possession cases. Biden’s pardon applies to those convicted under federal law and to thousands convicted in the District of Columbia.

In recent months, governors of Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington have taken steps to pardon people with low-level marijuana convictions, according to the National Marijuana Law Reform Organization (NORML).

Several states, including California, Illinois and New Jersey, have automatically reviewed cannabis offense convictions and expunged past records. In other jurisdictions, qualified persons must petition the court for review.

An estimated two million Americans have had their cannabis-related convictions revoked in recent years as a result of these laws, said NORML deputy director Paul Armentano.

“Our sense of justice and fairness requires that public officials and courts move quickly to right past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization,” Armentano said.

In 2019, Oregon legislators passed a law establishing a process for people convicted of minor marijuana possession charges to petition the courts to have their convictions overturned. But so far, relatively few Oregonians have done so.

In Oregon, the amnesty will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana from individual records. Brown noted that removing these criminal records removes barriers to employment, housing and educational opportunities.

The pardon applies to anyone over the age of 21 and convicted of possessing 1 ounce (28 grams) or less of marijuana.

“Oregonians should not face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing what is now fully legal and has been legal for years.” Mr. Brown said: disproportionate rates.

The Oregon Department of Justice will ensure that all court records related to these pardoned crimes are sealed, Brown said.

Oregon passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2014, making it one of the first states to do so. in November, Maryland Voters in Missouri also legalized cannabis, Voters in Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota rejected it.

The Maryland initiative had a belief-erasing mechanism. By July 1, 2024, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will close all cases in which possession of marijuana was the only charge and that charge was issued before his July 1, 2023. must be expunged.

Maryland and Missouri have joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia to legalize recreational marijuana.