February 08, 2018, Colorado
John Hickenlooper, governor of Colorado, is considering the proposition to grant leniency to around 40 prisoners charged with cannabis offenses involving no violence.
The governor, speaking to a newspaper, shares that they are going to invite an eligible batch of prisoners to apply for leniency for nonviolent marijuana offenses. The Department of Corrections and Governor’s office is jointly reviewing the profiles of inmates that will be eligible for this clemency program.
Hickenlooper openly admitted to support this initiative in an online Video interview. His press secretary has also confirmed that Hickenlooper’s office is working on the evaluation of cases to make a list of nonviolent cannabis offenders to get clemency.
For now, the administration is looking into the cases of prisoners charged only for selling and possessing cannabis. The state’s attorney is inspecting their conduct in jail. The inmates with good and complying prisoner behavior will be offered to apply for leniency program.
Voters of the Centennial State approved the legalization of adult-use marijuana nearly five years ago. However, decriminalization of cannabis-related offences hasn’t progressed following the legalization. In a one-off occurrence, the governor rescinded the punishment of seven Coloradans charged with minor cannabis possession in the previous year.
The state also approved a law in 2017 that allows people charged with misdemeanors of possessing and consuming marijuana to submit a request to the court to seal their records, if their behavior doesn’t entail any criminal activity according to the legalization law of the state.
Colorado is one of the first few states that adopted the legalization of recreational cannabis when majority of them were debating on the medicinal use of the plant. In a landmark constitutional development, Coloradans endorsed Amendment 64. The amendment allows a legalized possession of cannabis and THC concentrates of up to 28 grams (one ounce) by adults 21 and above. The amendment also allows home cultivation (we are currently witnessing how some states are experiencing a deadlock on this subject). The residents are allowed to grow six adult plants maximum.
The leniency reviews of Colorado are pretty much different from what’s being practiced in San Francisco where the authorities are comprehensively working to reduce the penalties and convictions on minor cannabis crimes following legalization in the golden state. When Colorado is reviewing only 40 cases, San Francisco is looking to expunge thousands of such cases of the past 43 years en masse. Similar measures are also being taken in San Diego to complement decriminalization with legalization.
It is imperative for every state to make legalization laws far more inclusive. A legalization of commodity must not be limited to its consumption only. Possessing an amount slightly more than the allowed limit should not be treated as a felony. As we all know, the repercussions of even a minor felony can turn out to be very adverse for charged individuals. From applying for a job to getting rentals, a criminal record could make daily life awfully difficult.