Colorado governor looking into dismissing convictions for nonviolent pot offenders

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said he is looking into the idea of dismissing convictions for nonviolent marijuana offenders.

During an interview on the news network Cheddar, Hickenlooper said "it's roughly about 40 cases where we can be absolutely sure there was no violence involved in the sentencing."

"For several of the people, a number of them, it was multiple times that they'd been arrested and prosecuted for marijuana or marijuana sales," he said.

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"So we're going to go back and look at those and I think it's legitimate to at least go case by case and say, alright, if we can get these people out of jail and take some of the pressure, the cost."

He added that people sometimes lose sight of the cost of incarcerating people.

"This country spends $80 billion a year if you include jails and prisons, all the kinds of incarceration," he said.

"This is maybe an example of a place where we can take some of the people that have been locked up and get them out in short order, get them back onto, hopefully out onto the streets ... getting a job and contributing to society."

Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLaura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry DHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies MORE rescinded Obama-era guidance that deprioritized marijuana-related prosecutions in states that have legalized the substance.

Sessions moved to rescind the so-called Cole memo, written by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole during the Obama administration, which discouraged U.S. attorneys from bringing charges for marijuana-related offenses in states that have legalized recreational use of the substance.

Sessions's memo rescinding the Obama-era guidance said, however, that federal prosecutors could decide how aggressively to pursue marijuana-related cases.

The U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado said last month his office wouldn't change how it prosecutes marijuana-related offenses, despite the changes to the federal guidance.