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Marijuana-related sentences will be annulled

Marijuana-related sentences will be annulled

Marijuana-related sentences will be annulled
January 04
13:18 2019

DECISION BY THE AUTHORITIES OF DENVER AND BOULDER

Newsroom/El Comercio de Colorado

The City Hall of Denver began the process of annulling thousands of convictions for minor offenses connected with marijuana that occurred before the legalization of their sale for recreational purposes took effect in 2014. According to Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver, between 2001 and 2013, in Denver, 10,000 cases of people were convicted of certain crimes that ceased to be when Colorado Amendment 64 came into force, which legalized marijuana.

Hancock said that the cancellation of these sentences is part “of the continuous efforts to promote the inclusion of all people.” Hancock reiterated that suppressing these charges is “correcting an injustice”, although it is still unknown if the elimination will be by means of an executive order, or if each case will be reviewed. He stressed that the initiative will benefit “those communities that were disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.”

According to a report from the University of Denver, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado did not change that disparity. Latinos and African-Americans continue to be arrested more frequently than whites for marijuana possession. This is despite the fact that both minorities consume less marijuana than whites. Also, it was learned that the city of Boulder would eliminate some 4,000 convictions for possession of marijuana.

In opposition

Fidel Montoya, former Denver’s chief of public safety during the 1990s, believes that the measure will have a negative impact on the criminal justice system. He warned that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. “I think Colorado voters were cheated by groups outside of Colorado in the November 2012 election to approve the legalization of marijuana,” Montoya said.

He said there was a lot of talk about the income generated by marijuana, but little about its impact on health, crime and the increase in the use of other drugs. The connection between marijuana and other “heavier” drugs, he said, makes this decision of Denver and Boulder questionable because possibly those people also committed other crimes, perhaps more serious. However, Denver and Boulder will not consider cases of people who, in addition to possession of marijuana, were convicted of drug trafficking or other crimes.

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Edición Virtual | #340 | 6 de junio 2019

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