The governor of Oregon is granting a mass pardon for state-level cannabis possession offenses that will provide relief to an estimated 45,000 people, her office said on Monday.
Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) cannabis clemency action—which also involves forgiveness for more than $14 million in fines and fees—comes about a month after President Joe Biden issued thousands of pardons for federal cannabis possession cases and called on governors to follow suit.
“No one deserves to be forever saddled with the impacts of a conviction for simple possession of cannabis—a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon,” Brown said in a press release. “Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal and has been for years.”
“My pardon will remove these hardships,” she said, adding that “while Oregonians use cannabis at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”
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