Colorado governor Jared Polis granted full and unconditional pardons to those convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana through an executive order Thursday.
More than 2,700 people perviously convicted of the low-level crime will receive pardons, according to The Denver Post.
Polis, a Democrat, has several made criminal justice efforts in recent months following nationwide protests over racial inequality, including signing bills that allow police to be sued and limit officers' use of force.
The pardons cover individuals who were convicted as far back as the 1970s and stretch until 2012 when the state legalized the possession and consumption of marijuana through a ballot measure.
“It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” Polis said in a statement.
“Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing and countless other areas of their lives,” he added.
Activists have long called for pardons to accompany any efforts by states to legalize cannabis.
Polis also signed a bill in June that gives him pardon power for people convicted of possessing as much as 2 ounces so it’s likely the state will wipe out more sentences in the future.
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