Colorado Court Overturns Marijuana Conviction
In what hopefully becomes a trend in other states, a Colorado court has overturned a marijuana conviction that occurred just after the passage of Amendment 64.
Huffington Post reports:
A state appeals court has overturned the marijuana conviction of a Colorado woman who was sentenced and convicted for marijuana possession just days after voters approved a measure legalizing recreational marijuana in the state almost three years ago -- retroactively applying the law to her case.
Citing a decision in a previous case, the appeals court ruled that convicted criminal defendants should receive “benefit of amendatory legislation which became effective at any time before the conviction became final on appeal,” the opinion, issued last week, reads.
"Amendment 64 is doing exactly what it was intended to do," Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project, said to The Huffington Post. "Colorado voters made it clear that they do not want adults to be punished for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Hopefully this ruling will ensure these convictions get overturned in any similar cases that might be pending. Fortunately, we have taken the steps needed to prevent these possession convictions from occurring to begin with.”
In the states where marijuana is now legal for adults and regulated like alcohol, there have been ongoing efforts to make sure that people arrested after the passage of these laws but before their implementation are protected by the will of the voters. In addition, there is a growing movement to apply these laws retroactively to people who were convicted before the laws passed.