Marijuana Justice Initiative Jan 4th

Inslee announces initiative to pardon marijuana misdemeanors

In Washington state, it is no longer considered criminal behavior for adults to possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use. The governor’s Marijuana Justice Initiative intends to recognize the evolution of the state’s beliefs about marijuana and, within existing capacity, provide clemency relief to some who have these convictions on their records. The initiative will provide an expedited process to grant pardons to people with a single misdemeanor conviction on their criminal record for adult marijuana possession prosecuted under Washington state law.

For decades, people have faced criminal prosecution for behavior that is no longer considered a crime in Washington. Inslee believes that forgiving these convictions will allow people to move on with their lives without these convictions causing additional burdens on people, their families, their employers and their communities. This is a small step, but one that moves us in the direction of correcting injustices that disproportionately affected communities of color. A successful pardon of a marijuana possession conviction can assist with barriers to housing, employment and education.

Under this initiative, Inslee will exercise his constitutional clemency authority to pardon individuals who have a single conviction on their criminal record. That sole conviction must be for adult (21+) misdemeanor marijuana possession, prosecuted under state law in Washington. The conviction must have occurred between January 1, 1998 and December 5, 2012, when I-502 legalized marijuana possession. Records indicate that roughly 3,500 individuals are eligible under this Initiative.

Those interested in requesting a pardon must complete the online petition form below and submit it to the Office of the Governor. This will officially start the request for a pardon of the conviction.

Governor’s Marijuana Justice Initiative

Complete this webform to submit a petition for clemency through the Marijuana Justice Initiative. To be eligible for clemency through the Initiative, your conviction must meet the following parameters:

  • It must be an adult (21+) conviction for misdemeanor marijuana possession;
  • Prosecuted under Washington state law (RCW), not a local ordinance;
  • The conviction must have occurred between January 1, 1998 and December 5, 2012;
  • It must be the only conviction on your criminal record.

If you do not meet these parameters, you are not eligible for relief through the Marijuana Justice Initiative.  You can, however, still pursue clemency for other state law convictions by filing a petition with the Clemency and Pardons Board.

Clemency petitions are public records and may be subject to public disclosure, pursuant to Ch. 42.56 RCW.