Kentucky Gov. Planning Low-Level Cannabis Possession Pardons

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said the state will issue pardons to individuals convicted of low-level cannabis possession charges.

Full story after the jump.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on Thursday announced that individuals convicted of simple cannabis possession with otherwise clean records can apply for a pardon of the charges, WKYT reports. The announcement comes a week after President Joe Biden (D) announced he would pardon all federal cannabis possession charges and urged governors to do the same with state charges. 

“Let me be clear, I agree that no one should be in jail simply because of possession of marijuana. I know the vast majority of Kentuckians demand medical cannabis be legalized, and I am committed to keeping Kentuckians updated as we review the information and make plans to move forward.” — Beshear via WKYT 

Beshear indicated he has asked the Administrative Office of the Courts how many Kentuckians are eligible for relief under the plan and that his administration is working on developing the next steps.  

The governor’s website does include a general application for pardons and commutations but it’s unclear whether officials will set up a separate system to pardon low-level cannabis possession crimes. The application requires applicants to list all previous and pending charges and convictions and their employment history, include a letter explaining why they believe they deserve a pardon or commutation, and provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation supporting the application. Applicants must also authorize the governor’s office to conduct investigations of the applicants’ history and background, including their criminal and employment records.

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