Some pot convictions can be reversed, Colorado court rules

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 13, 2014 4:23 PM

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Some people convicted of marijuana possession in Colorado at the time the state legalized recreational pot, may have their cases thrown out, a state appellate court ruled on Thursday.

Colorado and Washington state voted in 2012 to legalize the possession and recreational use of small amounts of marijuana, even as it remains illegal under federal law. Colorado opened its retail pot shops in January, and Washington is slated to follow suit later this year.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that a woman whose 2011 conviction for possessing cannabis had been under appeal was entitled to have her sentence and conviction overturned because of a "significant change in the law."

The ruling applies only to cases in which appeals had not been exhausted, and not to all defendants convicted of possession under the old law.

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A spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the office would review the decision before determining whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson)