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Shumlin to pardon some with marijuana convictions

MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin, citing 2013 legislative action to decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, on Thursday announced his intention to allow Vermonters convicted of that offense prior to the law change to apply for a pardon, essentially wiping the offense off their criminal record. Applications will be accepted beginning Dec. 8 and taken through Dec. 25.
“Today I am announcing an effort using the Governor’s pardoning power to expedite our move to a saner drug policy and criminal justice system,” Shumlin said. “Decriminalization was a good first step in updating our outmoded drug laws. It makes no sense that minor marijuana convictions should tarnish the lives of Vermonters indefinitely.”
Gov. Shumlin said he will consider pardoning convictions of marijuana possession up to one ounce for people that do not have violent criminal Vermont convictions or felonies on their records.
To seek a pardon, applicants should visit the website governor.vermont.gov. By clicking on the box titled “Pardon Application For Marijuana Possession” on the right side of the page, applicants will be directed to a simple, secure web page application.
Each application will be considered individually, and there is no guarantee of a pardon.
“However, I will try to get through as many as possible before the end of my administration on Jan. 5,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This is the right thing to do.”

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