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Colo. Court Rules Some Marijuana Convictions Can Be Overturned

Posted: March 13, 2014

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The narrow ruling applies to defendants who were in the appeals process when Colorado legalized the recreational use of pot.

A Colorado judge ruled on Thursday that some people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana could have their convictions overturned.

The ruling has to do with the state's legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012.

Judge Gale T. Miller, writing an opinion for the three-judge panel, found that the constitutional amendment legalizing possession of less than one ounce of pot "applies retroactively to defendants whose convictions under those provisions were subject to appeal or postconviction motion on the effective date of the amendment."

In English, that means this is a fairly narrow ruling that affects those who fought charges in court and whose appeals were in process when the amendment went into effect.

Reuters adds:

"A spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the office is reviewing the decision but would likely appeal.

"'The impact of this ruling is very limited given that possession of an ounce or less of marijuana was already a petty offense subject to a $100 fine,' Suthers said in a written statement. 'No one could be incarcerated for such a petty offense.'"

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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