BY C.M. WATTS
Almost 200 people will be regain their freedom after being incarcerated for marijuana possession.
Gov. Peter Shumlin fulfilled his promise to pardon those who have been imprisoned for minor marijuana possession. The Vermont Governor made his pardons and intentions clear through a media release earlier this week.
As one of his last actions in office, the pardon reflects Gov. Shumlin’s stance on marijuana legalization. “Vermont should follow the many states that are legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana and put to an end the incredible failure that is the War on Drugs,” stated Gov. Shumlin, according to the New York Times.
Roughly 450 people applied, 192 of which received the pardon. Those pardoned possessed no records of violent criminal histories or driving under the influence.
Because most of those who received pardons were under the age of 40, Gov. Shumlin may have just given people a chance at a long and normal life again. The group ranged from 22 to 69 years old.
“While attitudes and laws about marijuana use are rapidly changing, there is still a harmful stigma associated with it,” stated Gov. Shumlin. “My hope was to help as many individuals as I could overcome that stigma and the very real struggles that too often go along with it.”
A full list of all persons pardoned can be found here.