Oregon Governor Kate Brown To Pardon Over 45K Cannabis Convictions

On Monday, Governor Kate Brown announced a pardon for prior offenses of simple cannabis possession impacting an estimated 45,000 individuals across the state and to forgive more than $14,000,000 in associated fines and fees.

Cannabis Pardon's Impact

“No one deserves to be saddled with the impacts of simple possession of marijuana conviction—a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon,” Gov. Brown said in a Tweet. “I am pardoning these prior Oregon offenses, an act that will impact an estimated 45,000 individuals.”

The pardon will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana from individual records, removing barriers for thousands of people seeking otherwise ineligible employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

“Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal and has been for years,” reads an official announcement.

"Alleviate" Collateral Consequences

"My pardon will remove these hardships. And while Oregonians use marijuana at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates," Brown said.

The offenses being pardoned are pre-2016 cases in which the individual was 21 or older.

Additionally, the release said the pardon applies only if marijuana possession was the sole charge and no victims were reported. 
“We are a second-chance state and nation. Today, I am taking action to right the wrongs of a flawed, inequitable, and outdated criminal justice system in Oregon when it comes to the personal possession of marijuana."

For those receiving a pardon for prior state marijuana possession convictions, this action will help alleviate the collateral consequences that arise from these convictions, said Brown.

The Oregon Judicial Department will ensure that all court records associated with these pardoned offenses are sealed, as required by law.

Get your daily dose of cannabis news on Benzinga Cannabis. Don’t miss out on any important developments in the industry.

Image: Courtesy Of El Planteo

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