(NewsGlobal.com)- Democratic Governor Katie Brown of Oregon announced Monday that she was pardoning over 45,000 people who had been found guilty of marijuana possession and waiving roughly $14 million in related penalties and costs.
Gov. Brown stated in a press release on Monday that no one deserves to be permanently burdened with the repercussions of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana – a felony that is no longer on the books in Oregon.
“Oregonians should never have to deal with housing insecurity, career challenges, or educational restrictions due to engaging in behavior that is now fully legal and has been for years. These sufferings will end with my pardon. In addition, although Oregonians use marijuana at comparable rates, Black and Latinx people have disproportionately high rates of arrest, prosecution, and conviction” – Gov. Brown
Brown said she believes in second chances as a state and country.
She said she is taking action to address Oregon’s outmoded, unfair, and unjust criminal justice system’s treatment of individuals who possess small amounts of marijuana. She believes this step will lessen the collateral effects of these convictions for the approximately 45,000 people seeking pardons for past state convictions of marijuana possession.
According to the press release, the pardoned people’s court records would be sealed under state law.
The crimes that qualify for pardons must have occurred before 2016, be electronically accessible, entail less than an ounce of marijuana, and involve crimes where there were no victims, according to Oregon’s Statesman Journal. People over the age of 21 are the only ones eligible for pardons.
According to the research, even though the convictions wouldn’t show up on background checks of court records conducted by the general public, they would still appear as pardoned convictions on inspections carried out by law enforcement or licensing officials.
On October 6, President Joe Biden granted a similar simple marijuana possession pardon to those accused or found guilty under federal law.
The New York Times stated that no one currently serving a federal prison sentence is covered by the pardon, which would apply to approximately 6,500 persons who were found guilty of simple possession between 1992 and 2021.
After signing the order, Biden wrote on Twitter, “Sending individuals to jail for carrying marijuana has upended too many lives – for conduct that is lawful in many states.”