DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands of Denver residents who were convicted of low-level marijuana crimes before it was legalized are now eligible to have the charges expunged from their records. On Tuesday, Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced a citywide effort to vacate low-level marijuana convictions that occurred between 2001 and 2013.
Officials said the plan is “part of Denver’s continuing effort to promote inclusion for people and communities disproportionally impacted by the war on drugs.”
“For too long, the lives of low-income residents and those living in our communities of color have been negatively affected by low-level marijuana convictions,” Mayor Hancock stated. “This is an injustice that needs to be corrected, and we are going to provide a pathway to move on from an era of marijuana prohibition that has impacted the lives of thousands of people.”
The Office of Marijuana Policy and the City Attorney’s Office are working with the District Attorney, Denver County Courts and stakeholders to develop a process for expunging records.
In addition to vacating convictions, officials say they are working to help communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs benefit from the legalization of marijuana. Part of that effort involves using marijuana tax revenue to support low and moderate-income neighborhoods, developing more affordable housing options, and helping people get jobs or own businesses in the cannabis industry.