PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown has pardoned 45,000 Oregonians convicted on marijuana possession charges.
In a release on Monday, Brown’s office said the pardon will remove more than 47,000 convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana. The offenses being pardoned are pre-2016 cases in which the individual was 21 or older. Additionally, the release said the pardon only applies if marijuana possession was the sole charge and no victims were reported.
The pardon does not apply to any other offense related to marijuana or other controlled substances.
Gov. Brown said these pardons will help more Oregonians get access to employment, housing and education.
“No one deserves to be forever saddled with the impacts of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana — a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon,” said Gov. Brown. “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.”
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) issued a statement following Brown’s announcement, saying the state’s pardoning of simple possession is “absolutely necessary.”
“Pardoning simple possession in Oregon is absolutely necessary to repair the damage done by the failed War on Drugs. It is the proper use of governor’s clemency powers and I hope that every governor and state legislature will follow suit,” he said. “The American people have consistently shown overwhelming support for expungement and reform of our marijuana laws. It is time for Congress to step up and begin to right these wrongs at the federal level.”
Wyden added that he will continue to push for “meaningful cannabis reform” as the end of the current Congress approaches.