Colorado: Retroactive Reversal of Marijuana Convictions Possible

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The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that residents convicted of marijuana possession before it was legalized may be eligible to have those decisions overturned.

Adults in Colorado are legally allowed to buy up to one ounce of marijuana under the state Constitution’s recently passed Amendment 64.

This is now having an effect on previously decided court rulings.

The three judges of the state’s appeals panel said that part of an earlier decision in a case against a Colorado woman sentenced in 2011 for marijuana possession should be vacated.

“Amendment 64, by decriminalizing the personal use or possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, meets the statutory requirement for ‘a significant change in the law’ and eliminates and thus mitigates the penalties for persons convicted of engaging in such conduct,”

“Defendant contends that Amendment 64 should be applied retroactively and that her convictions for possession of marijuana concentrate and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana should be vacated. We agree,”

If this ruling stands it could effect substantial number of residents to have their convictions reversed.

Brian Emeson, an attorney, told the Denver Post that “It’s a decision that certainly represents the will of the citizens of this state.”

Brian Vicente, a pro-marijuana activist who helped write Amendment 64, told the Associated Press that the ruling was a “huge victory” that could affect hundreds of people who were sentenced to jail terms for petty marijuana offenses in recent years and sought appeal.