Oregon Governor Kate Brown Pardons 45,000 People For Marijuana Convictions, Forgives $14 Million In Fines

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday she would be pardoning past simple marijuana possession offenses for an estimated 45,000 people across the state.

The move will forgive more than $14 million in fines & fees linked to prior offenses.

The pardon applies to Oregon convictions for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in cases before 2016, where the person involved was 21 or older, as long as possession was the only charge & there were no other victims.

State officials said the pardon will remove the records for 47,144 convictions for possession of a small amount of marijuana, "eliminating barriers for thousands of people seeking employment, housing & educational opportunities who have otherwise been ineligible."

The state said the pardon doesn’t apply to any other offense related to marijuana or other controlled substances.

“Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, & educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal & has been for years," Brown said. "My pardon will remove these hardships. And while Oregonians use marijuana at similar rates, Black & Latina people have been arrested, prosecuted & convicted at disproportionate rates."

President Biden has been calling on governors to issue pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases. Biden's pardon applies to those convicted under federal law & thousands convicted in D.C.

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Source: KATU/ABC

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