Nov 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Oregon governor pardons 45,000 people for marijuana convictions

Governor of Oregon Kate Brown speaks at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field on July 15, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown during a July event in Eugene, Oregon. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Oregon became on Monday the latest state to announce it's pardoning thousands of people with low-level marijuana convictions.

The big picture: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's move to pardon some 45,000 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana comes weeks after President Biden took similar action under federal law.

A screenshot of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's tweet announcing she's pardoning convicted low-level marijuana users.
Photo: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown/Twitter
  • The governors of Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Washington state moved in recent months to issue pardons for people with low-level marijuana convictions, per AP.

Details: Brown will also forgive more than $14 million in associated fines and fees, per a statement from her office.

  • "The pardon applies to electronically available Oregon convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, in pre-2016 cases in which the person was 21 years of age or older, where this was the only charge, and where there were no victims," the statement notes.

What they're saying: "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," Brown said in a statement.

  • "My pardon will remove these hardships. And while Oregonians use marijuana at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates."

Flashback: Oregon legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014.

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