Governor Sisolak Asks Nevada State Board to Pardon Low Level Pot Convictions

Breaking News from CARSON CITY — It’s taken more than three years after voters legalized the sale and use of adult use marijuana, Governor Steve Sisolak is asking a state board to pardon everyone in Nevada who had been previously convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes.

According to the meeting agenda: The Nevada Board of Pardons they will discuss and potentially vote on a new resolution “regarding pardons for persons convicted of minor marijuana possession,” next Tuesday. This info came from a press release form Steve Sisolak’s office this morning… This  move will literally  affect “tens of thousands of people.”

Sisolak said. “The people of Nevada have decided that possession of small amounts of marijuana is not a crime, If approved, this resolution will clear the slate for thousands of people who bear the stigma of a conviction for actions that have now been decriminalized.”

Marijuana Reform advocates have often said that marijuana arrests and convictions disproportionately target minorities.

According to a report released in April by the American Civil Liberties Union that analyzed arrest data from 2010 to 2018.

In Nevada, African Americans are three times more likely than Caucasians to be arrested for marijuana possession. Even though possession of adult use cannabis are legal, the report also showed that there were just over over 2,900 arrests for marijuana in Nevada in 2018 Which was 20 percent of all drug-related arrests in Nevada back in 2018.

Under a new law passed by the Legislature and signed by Sisolak in 2019, Nevada allows for anyone who was convicted of possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana — which is the amount now deemed legal to possess in Nevada,  to ask a court to seal those records.

Other states, including California, have had similar laws on the books to expunge the records. But like in Nevada, the process to do that proved difficult.

In cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and other many others where marijuana is legal the local governments started automatically vacating old marijuana convictions en masse and, in turn, clearing the records of tens of thousands of people.

The Clark County Commission last year asked the district attorney’s office to wipe those records of arrests and convictions clean, but nobody could say whether local prosecutors in Nevada have the authority to do that.

AND The Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau told Segerblom in 2018, when he was still a state senator, that nothing in state law gives Nevada prosecutors the ability to vacate those convictions like they have done in California, Washington and Colorado.

So Again – Governor Steve Sisolak is asking a state board to pardon everyone in Nevada who had been previously convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes.

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