Oregon Democratic Gov. Kathy Brown announced Monday that she will issue a pardon for minor marijuana possession convictions for adults over the age of 21 charged in 2016 or earlier. Conviction for possession of a small amount of weed. The lawsuit also waives approximately $14 million in associated fines and fees imposed for conviction.
“We are a second-chance state and nation. Today, I am taking steps to right the wrongs of Oregon’s flawed, unfair, and outdated criminal justice system regarding personal possession of marijuana. .” Brown said in a statement on monday. “For the estimated 45,000 state convicted and pardoned individuals for marijuana possession, this action will help mitigate the collateral consequences of those convictions.”
Amnesty applies to post-possession convictions prior to 2016
The amnesty announced Monday applies to pre-2016 convictions in which the defendant is at least 21 years old and has less than an ounce of marijuana in an electronically available case. There should not have been a conviction, and the conviction must have been the only charge associated with the prosecution. The amnesty does not apply to other controlled substances or marijuana-related offenses such as growing, distributing or selling cannabis.
No one in Oregon is currently incarcerated for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, so the pardon won’t release anyone incarcerated, the governor’s office reports. , pardons seal the record of such convictions and help address the collateral harm associated with a criminal record.
Amnesty addresses racial divide in drug war
Despite relatively equal levels of cannabis use across racial groups, Brown said, “Black and Latina/o/x people are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of marijuana crimes. We are receiving
“No one deserves to forever bear the consequences of a conviction for the mere possession of marijuana, a crime no longer on the books in Oregon,” Brown continued. We must not face housing insecurity, employment barriers, or educational obstacles as a result of doing what has been fully legalized and has been done for years. , removes these difficulties.”
The governor’s office said the pardon applies only to state-level convictions for marijuana possession because the Oregon Department of Justice does not have access to locally maintained city or county municipal or judicial court records. . and FAQ document posted onlineofficials pointed out what happens when a record is sealed by a court and how a pardon affects an individual’s recorded criminal record.
“Pardoned marijuana convictions will no longer appear in background checks of public court records,” the governor’s office explained. It may show up in a background check, but it will show up as a pardoned conviction. We may have collected data related to the conviction prior to the date of the pardon.”
Please follow the President’s call for a pardon
The pardon for Brown’s minor marijuana possession conviction follows President Joseph Biden’s pardon for a federal conviction for simple marijuana possession announced last month. The President also called on state governors to take similar action and directed the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to review the continued classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
“As I often said during my presidential campaign, marijuana use or possession alone should not put people in jail. And it’s taking too many lives and imprisoning people.” Biden said in a statement October 6th. While whites, blacks, and browns use marijuana at similar rates, blacks and browns are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted, and convicted. ”
Brown’s pardon continues her efforts to reform Oregon’s criminal justice system. Between 2020 and her 2021, she has had more than 1,000 of her sentences commuted with state crime convictions. After the amnesty for marijuana possession offenses was announced Monday, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, a proponent of cannabis policy reform at the federal level, issued a statement supporting the governor’s pardon action.
“Allowing simple possession in Oregon is absolutely necessary to repair the damage done by the failed drug war.” wyden said“This is an appropriate use of the governor’s lenient powers, and I hope all governors and state legislatures will follow suit. The American public has consistently shown overwhelming support for marijuana law cancellation and reform.” It’s time for Congress to strengthen and start correcting these wrongs at the federal level.As we near the end of this Congress, I will continue to push for meaningful cannabis reform and help as many people as possible. We will fight to get things done.”