Today I pardoned 192 individuals for minor marijuana convictions that were holding too many back from a job or simply living their life #vt
— Peter Shumlin (@GovPeterShumlin) January 3, 2017
Last month, Shumlin invited people convicted of possessing marijuana before the state decriminalized it in 2013 to apply for pardons.
About 450 people applied, but only 192 were approved.
Since the Christmas Day deadline to apply for marijuana pardons, Shumlin’s staff has been doing background checks on those who applied. Anyone with a violent criminal history was not approved.
“A minor marijuana possession charge should not be an anchor that holds back an individual from getting a good job or going about their life,” Shumlin said. “While attitudes and laws about marijuana use are rapidly changing, there is still a harmful stigma associated with it. My hope was to help as many individuals as I could overcome that stigma and the very real struggles that too often go along with it. Vermont should follow the many states that are legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana and put to an end the incredible failure that is the War on Drugs.”
Shumlin also issued 10 pardons Saturday for people convicted of various felonies and misdemeanors, including the son of former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro and the son of former U.S. Rep. Richard Mallary, according to Brad Evans of NBC.
These pardons brings the total the outgoing governor has issued during his six-years in office to 208, according to Elizabeth Hewitt of The VT Digger. The administration claims that total sets a record for the most by any Vermont governor.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones)