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Colorado law passed a bill that would double the legal amount of recreational marijuana that adults 21 and older can own from 1 to 2 ounces.
House Bill 1090 completed its final Senate vote at the end of April and is now awaiting signature by Governor Jared Polis.
In addition to doubling the recreational possession limit, HB 1090 qualifies convictions for up to 2 ounce pot possession for deletion of records. It would also obliterate previous convictions for class 3 marijuana growing crimes, as well as charges for growing more than twelve plants but fewer than 25. (However, growing more than twelve plants would be illegal for anyone without a medical marijuana card and extended plant count.)
There are some conditions attached to the new record-erasure procedure: Former offenders would have to go to the courts themselves, and anyone convicted on the file, as their marijuana charges would be disqualified despite the bill sponsor’s representative Alex Valdez , considers this possible by judges “under their own steam”. Prosecutor approval, a common requirement for deletion of records for other crimes, would not be required.
The new marijuana ownership limit would not affect Colorado’s current 1 ounce pharmacy purchase limit as it would require a regulatory change by the state marijuana enforcement department.
According to a tax bill attached to the bill, around 27 people are accused of possessing 2 ounces of marijuana or less each year in Colorado.
The record-erasing process would go through local court systems, unlike the 2,732 pardons Polis issued late last year on possession charges of an ounce or less at the state level. The law that gives Polis this pardon allows the Colorado governor to pardon convictions for up to 2 ounces of marijuana, but Polis limited his 2020 pardons to 1 ounce, citing the state’s then-current ownership limit for use by Adults.
“The governor intends to sign HB21-1090 and will carefully consider any privileges granted to him by legislation at this session, as it has done in the previous two legislative sessions,” said Victoria Graham, deputy spokeswoman for Polis.
Update: This article was updated on Thursday May 6th to add a comment from the governor’s office.
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Thomas Mitchell has been writing about everything cannabis-related for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news en route to publications like the Republic of Arizona, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.