MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin, citing 2013 legislative action to decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, today 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 today and taken through December 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,” the Governor 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.”
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 January 5th,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This is the right thing to do.”