By: Nabil Rodriguez
275 days into 2020 and it feels as though all front-page news has remained perpetually depressing.
Executive Order, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced his plans to mass-pardon 2,732 convictions of low-level marijuana possession with the implementation of today’s order. Specifically, as of today, October 1, 2020, all individuals previously convicted in the State of Colorado of a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony for possession of one (1) ounce or less of marijuana has received an unconditional pardon.
As we discussed in a previous
article, Governor Polis signed HB 20-1424 into law back in June 2020. This bill authorized Governor Polis to pardon certain low-level marijuana possession charges automatically. Although the bill ultimately allowed the Governor to grant pardons “to a class of defendants who were convicted of the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana…” the pardon is consistent with the one (1) ounce possession limit allowed in Colorado Amendment 64 and is an incredible step forward towards the goal of community reformative justice. Despite the fact that these convictions were only related to the possession of small amounts of marijuana, any conviction cab greatly stand in the way of an individual’s future – whether it be an inability to secure housing, financial aid, or even stable employment.
Anyone who wants to check if Governor Polis’ Executive Order applies to them is encouraged to check comarijuanapardons.com. However, please keep in mind that this pardon does not apply to convictions in municipal courts or in other states. Moreover, the pardon will not expunge or seal records related to the convictions, according to the governor’s office, but the convictions will be removed from individuals’ public records.
In case you did not know, last week, September 19-26, was National Expungement Week and this wave of pardons is a first step in achieving social justice. The attorneys at Greenspoon Marder are honored to have participated in National Expungement Week through the newly formed non-profit, Expunge Colorado. For those seeking assistance in sealing their records, please reach out to