The city has unveiled a new program aimed at giving thousands of people the chance to get rid of low-level marijuana convictions that occurred before recreational use became legal in the state.
The “Turn Over a New Leaf” program launched Wednesday, along with a website that helps guide people through the steps needed to request expungement.
Any low-level marijuana offenses that were based on conduct now legal under current law are eligible, including possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Cases involving hemp, marijuana paraphernalia or marijuana-infused products are also eligible, according to the city.
City officials estimate 10,000 marijuana-related convictions that occurred between 2001 and 2012 could be eligible for the program.
How it will work
Eligible residents can apply online or at one of the clinics the city plans to hold over the next few months. Those opting to participate in a clinic must provide a government-issued photo ID.
Applicants who attend a clinic will meet with a representative from the Denver District Attorney’s or Denver City Attorney’s office who will review their case. If the case is deemed eligible for expungement, the city representative will draft the necessary documents and give the applicant information on what to expect next.
It will ultimately come down to a state judge ruling – without a hearing – on each request to vacate convictions. The city estimates that most cases will be decided within a few weeks.
The city says most applicants should not incur any costs associated with the process, but did say there could be a $65 court filing fee and $28 fee by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in some case.
The program is part of what the city described as a multi-pronged approached to ensure communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs benefit from the legalization of marijuana.
There is no deadline to apply.
Here’s a look at the dates, times and locations of the clinics:
Saturday, February 9
9:00 am-1:00 pm
Denver Conflict Center
4140 Tejon St.
Denver, CO 80211
Sunday, February 24
1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church
3385 Albion St.
Denver, CO 80207
Wednesday, March 6
5:00 pm-8:00 pm
Servicios de La Raza
3131 W 14th Ave
Denver, CO 80204
Thursday, March 21
9:00 am-1:00 pm
2901 Walnut St.
Denver, CO 80205
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