Denver to Vacate Low-Level Marijuana Convictions That Occurred Before Legalization

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A sign in downtown Denver, Colorado, informs passersby of marijuana use in Denver. (Flickr/Aranami)

DENVER, CO — Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock has announced a citywide effort to vacate low-level marijuana convictions that occurred before marijuana legalization.

The initiative is framed as part of an effort to address the disproportionate impact of marijuana prohibition on communities of color and low-income populations, and is being presented as part of a broader approach to promoting equity and inclusion in the context of marijuana legalization.

Art Way, the Drug Policy Alliance’s State Director for Colorado, advocates to ensure that implementation of marijuana legalization in Colorado reflects a commitment to racial equity, reparative justice and public health.

“We applaud Mayor Hancock for working to repair the harms of marijuana prohibition by vacating low-level marijuana convictions for Denver residents,” said Way. “While we don’t know the specifics of his plan, we urge the city to automate the process so that this helps the most amount of people possible. The state of Colorado should now follow Denver’s lead.”

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