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Denver Program Helps People Convicted Of Pot Crimes Before Legalization Get A 'Clean Slate'

DENVER (AP/CBS4) - Officials say a simplified program will make it easier for thousands of people to seek the elimination of the low-level marijuana convictions they received in Denver before recreational use became legal in Colorado. Denver's new program -- titled "Turn Over a New Leaf" -- was announced Wednesday and requires people to fill out an online form or get help to do so. Officials will then seek court approval.

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Based on court records from 2001 to 2013, Denver officials estimate that 10,000 convictions could be eligible.

Colorado was among the first states to broadly allow the sale and adult use of marijuana, but cities elsewhere have led the way on automatic expungement of convictions.

"I believe that it's fair to allow folks to get those records vacated and sealed so that they can then say legitimately that they do not have a criminal record. So it's really to help people move forward," Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said.

Colorado allows people to petition courts to remove marijuana offenses from their records. Officials say the plan announced by Denver would be easier.


(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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