On the 1st of January 2014 Colorado legalised the recreational use of cannabis for adults aged 21 or older, including the possession up to an ounce. Since then a lot of people are wondering what should happen to those convicted for cannabis possession before this new state law came into effect.
On the 1st of January 2014 Colorado legalised the recreational use of cannabis for adults aged 21 or older, including the possession up to an ounce. Since then a lot of people are wondering what should happen to those convicted for cannabis possession before this new state law came into effect. The Colorado Court has made a positive statement about this, but still it will take some time and effort before all Colorado cannabis convictions will be overturned.
Instigating this is the case of Brandi Jessica Russell. She is a woman from Colorado who was convicted of possessing a small amount of cannabis, cannabis concentrate, and methamphetamine. The Court is stating that post-conviction relief is possible only if “there has been significant change in the law”. When Amendment 64 came into effect on the 10th of December 2012 – the amendment that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis in Colorado – this was such a significant change in law that Russell’s attorneys used it to file an appeal, since her case was still undecided at that point. The Appeals Court responded by saying that her conviction should be overturned.
Particularly to this case the Court responded: “Defendant contends that Amendment 64 should be applied retroactively and that her (Russell’s, ed.) convictions for possession of marijuana concentrate and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana should be vacated. We agree.”
Unfortunately it will take some time before the large number of existing convictions for cannabis possession will be overturned in Colorado. A spokesman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers told the National Public Radio that the office will likely appeal the Court’s latest ruling. But if it stands, it will pave the way for a large group of people to have their convictions overturned.
Although they are not there yet, these developments are sounding very promising and are therefore great news. Overturning convictions for cannabis possession in America would be the ultimate way of expressing justice and a great turning point in the long and very sad story called ‘the war on drugs’. Sensi Seeds is tracking the developments and will write about it again as soon as news occurs.