Washington Gov. Inslee to pardon marijuana convictions

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Seven years after Washington legalized the adult use of marijuana, Gov. Jay Inslee says he plans to pardon thousands of convictions for misdemeanor pot possession.

The Democrat, who is mulling a 2020 presidential run, made the announcement Friday at a cannabis industry summit. Inslee said he was creating an expedited process that would allow about 3,500 people to apply for and receive a pardon without having to hire a lawyer or go to court.

Several states allow for expunging or sealing marijuana convictions, and several cities have taken steps to clear marijuana possession convictions en masse. One new law in California automatically erases or reduces marijuana-related convictions.

Inslee called it an injustice that small-time convictions have hampered people’s ability to buy a house, get a job or chaperone field trips.