Governor to consider pardons for small amounts of marijuana

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December 09, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt (AP):

Outgoing Governor Peter Shumlin yesterday invited residents convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana before the state decriminalised it to apply for pardons.

Shumlin, a Democrat, said applications will be accepted now through Christmas. He said he's using the governor's pardoning power "to expedite our move to a saner drug policy and criminal justice system."

The 2013 decriminalisation law, under which those found with up to an ounce of pot get something akin to a traffic ticket, "was a good first step in updating our outmoded drug laws," Shumlin said.

He added, "It makes no sense that minor marijuana convictions should tarnish the lives of Vermonters indefinitely."

He estimated there could be between 10,000 and 17,000 people who might be eligible for pardons.

Shumlin said he will consider pardoning convictions of marijuana possession up to one ounce for people who don't have violent criminal convictions or felonies on their records.