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Gov. Inslee signs first marijuana possession pardons

Governor Inslee said the Marijuana Justice Initiative will “help relieve the burden of misdemeanors for marijuana possession and allow people to move on with their lives.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed the first marijuana possession pardons Wednesday as part of the “Marijuana Justice Initiative.”

On Friday, Inslee announced the plan to pardon thousands of people convicted of small-time possession charges. 

"We have people who have this burden on their shoulders from a simple, one-time marijuana possession from maybe 20 years ago, and that's impeding the ability of people to live their lives," Inslee said in an interview. "It can damage their ability to get financing for a home; it can damage their ability to get financing for colleges, even simple things like going on a field trip with your kids.”

Inslee says he's created an expedited process allowing 3,500 people to apply and receive a pardon without hiring a lawyer or going to court.

To be eligible, people must have been convicted as an adult, and the conviction must be the only one on their record.

RELATED: Where does Washington’s marijuana tax money go?

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