PROSECUTORS IN BOULDER PLAN TO DISMISS PREVIOUS MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS
- December 4, 2018
Would you ever imagine that people who (based on previously established laws) engaged in drug-related criminal activity would ever be relieved of their convictions? Over the course of several years, lawmakers in the United States and Canada have introduced prospects to decriminalize all previous marijuana crimes that are no longer “crimes” under current legal standards, as the little green plant is 100% in these two areas (at least halfway in the States). Now, ironically, this new movement has taken flight in one of the proverbial cannabis capitals of America: Colorado. At this time, prosecutors in Boulder have set plans to dismiss previous marijuana convictions in motion, now that so much has changed and continues to change. So what drove lawmakers to make this decision? Let’s take a closer look and find out more.
Sealing but Not Erasing
According to a report from the Boulder Daily Camera, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office will be part of a program entitled “Moving on from Marijuana,” which he successfully identified an estimated 4,000 marijuana-related convictions that date back to 2008. Obviously, based on current laws for the fragrant herb in Colorado, these criminal counts would no longer be applicable.
Back in 2017, the Colorado State Legislature passed a law that permitted people convicted of misdemeanor use or marijuana possession to inquire about sealing (not erasing) any criminal records, on the ground that these past charges do fall under the current lineup of crimes. Ultimately, Boulder is taking this concept to the next level by offering a clinic at the county justice center where people can see if they meet qualifications for sealing their criminal records.
Repairing Lives in Boulder
Ultimately, prosecutors will grant this priority to individuals whose criminal charges have taken a particularly great toll on their lives, ranging from trouble seeking jobs to housing. According to Boulder County Assistant District Attorney Ken Kupfner, this act on part of lawmakers is a move of “fundamental fairness,” based on the simple fact that marijuana is no longer illegal in the state.
To qualify for this new program, previous offenders must have been charged with possessing no more than 2 ounces and at least 1 ounce of marijuana and a charge for carrying drug paraphernalia.
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