Thursday, January 5, 2017

Vermont: 192 Last-Minute Pardons

The New York Times reports that "nearly 200 of the approximately 450 people who asked Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont to forgive their misdemeanor marijuana convictions had their wish fulfilled this week." It was "one of his final acts in office" - 192 pardons.

In a statement, the Governor noted that "attitudes and laws about marijuana use are rapidly changing, there is still a harmful stigma associated with it.” So, he wanted to "help as many individuals" as he could "overcome that stigma and the very real struggles that too often go along with it.”

Why the effort only began just before he left office is a mystery to all.

The Times says the pardon were "limited to people who had no violent criminal histories or felony convictions, and who had not been found guilty of driving under the influence or reckless driving."

The Governor also said his state 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.” Remarkably,  Shumlin's 208 total pardons (since 2010) are "more than any other governor in the history of the state." See story here.

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