DENVER — The city of Denver is outlining how thousands of people with low-level marijuana convictions can have those crimes expunged from their records as part of a new city program called Turn Over a New Leaf.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock first announced the plans in December. Because the state legislature has yet to enact laws that would automatically vacate low-level marijuana offenses, individuals can obtain relief only by filing motions in each case. The city’s program is designed to make that process simple and easy.
“For more than five years, Denver has led the way in regulating legalized marijuana,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “This is about equity for our communities of color and individuals who were disproportionately impacted by low-level marijuana convictions that are no longer crimes in Colorado. Overturning these convictions is part of Denver’s multi-pronged approach to correct the social injustices caused by the war on drugs.”
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said given the fact that possession of a small amount of marijuana is now legal in Denver, she decided that in the interest of justice and fairness, that her office will help those convicted of a marijuana offense which would now be legalin getting their convictions dismissed and expunged.
“In addition to having an online, self-service option, we will hold clinics to make this process easier for these individuals," she said. "Members of my office and the Denver City Attorney’s office will meet with people who attend to get the process underway.”
The new program is now live online at www.Denvergov.org/ANewLeaf . The website will guide people through the steps needed to request expungement. The city will also host a series of in-person clinics to help people navigate the legal process.
To participate in a clinic, applicants must provide government-issued photo identification, such as a drivers license. They will then meet with a representative from the Denver District Attorney’s or Denver City Attorney’s office who will review their case. If the case is eligible for expungement, the city representative will then draft documents and the applicant will receive information about what to expect next.
Those hoping to attend one of the clinics will need to bring a form of government-issued photo identification. The dates, times and locations of the clinics are:
Saturday, February 9
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Denver Conflict Center
4140 Tejon St.
Denver, CO 80211
Sunday, February 24
Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church
3385 Albion St.
Denver, CO 80207
Wednesday, March 6
Servicios de La Raza
3131 W 14th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204
Thursday, March 21
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
2901 Walnut St.
Denver, CO 80205