Stoners in the process of appealing their pot conviction at the time recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado may have the opportunity for their cases to be dismissed, according to a recent court ruling.
On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals announced that individuals whose convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession were under appeals at the time Amendment 64 was enacted in December 2012 are now qualified to have their conviction tossed out of system, as though it never happened.
"Amendment 64, by decriminalizing the personal use or possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, meets the statutory requirement for a significant change in the law," reads the judges decision.
Supporters of the amendment told the Associated Press the verdict was a “huge victory” that could ultimately affect hundreds of people burdened with minor drug convictions.
However, an appeal on behalf of Attorney General John Suthers is expected since there was nothing written in Amendment 64 that allows for a retroactive trap door for convictions handed down before it became a law.
Yet, the judges argue that although there were no provisions included in Amendment 64 allowing for conviction reversals, it is written in state law that defendants should be provided with conviction reprieve "if there has been a significant change in the law,” citing a 1970s court ruling as comparative evidence for the modification.
While marijuana advocates applaud the ruling, they say it is disheartening that the majority of petty convictions will remain on the books, noting that most people receiving pot convictions -- “disproportionately poor, minorities” -- never file an appeal.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.