Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill on Thursday increasing cannabis possession limits in the state from one ounce to two and expanding criminal justice reforms, including streamlining the records-sealing process and eligibility for other cannabis offenses, Western Slope Now reports.
The measure adds possession to the list of offenses that can be sealed without notification of the prosecuting district attorney, which is expected to make the process less time-consuming and expensive while increasing record-sealing for financially challenged individuals.
The new law also extends record-sealing eligibility to those convicted of a Class C felony for cultivation.
During the signing ceremony, Polis described the bill as “very exciting.”
“Because for far too long the consequences for people who had a personal amount of cannabis – while before it had been legalized – still have a long shadow on them. So for doing something that is fully legal today, they might have something on their record – and of course that is disproportionately people of color – that might get in the way of them getting loans or leases or licenses or jobs or mortgages or many other things. … So with this bill the General Assembly … raises the possession limit to two ounces. Now we will be able to look at using that pardon authority, which we plan to do.” – Polis, during the May 20, 2021 signing ceremony
The governor added that several law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Department of Public Safety, worked on the bill alongside lawmakers.
Last year, Polis pardoned 2,734 low-level cannabis convictions and said the new law will expand the number of convictions eligible for pardons.
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