Today, in a unanimous vote, the Nevada State Board of Pardons Commissioners passed an amended resolution put forth by member Gov. Steve Sisolak in which those convicted of minor marijuana offenses would be pardoned.
“Today is an historic day for those who were convicted of what has long been considered a trivial crime, and is now legal under Nevada law,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “Since the passage of Question 2 in 2016 and the decriminalization of possession for small amounts of marijuana, many Nevadans have had these minor offenses remain on their records, in some cases as a felony. This resolution aims to correct that and fully restore any rights lost as a result of these convictions.”
“Today we took another step toward justice by pardoning thousands of Nevadans for actions that Nevadans decided should no longer be illegal,” said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “I’m proud to work alongside Governor Sisolak to make it easier for these Nevadans to get jobs, housing, and financial aid for college. Together, we’re making criminal justice reform a priority across Nevada.”
Prior to January 1, 2017, the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana was a criminal act that could be charged as a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony depending on additional factors. This resolution extends to persons who were previously convicted for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, and to persons convicted multiple times for this same act.
The resolution summarily pardons thousands of persons previously convicted of this crime — a first for the Nevada State Board of Pardons Commissioners. The Secretary of the Nevada State Board of Pardons Commissioners will create an expedited process for those seeking pardon documents, which will be free of charge and available online.
Other drug crimes are not covered by today’s decision — it is strictly for those previously convicted in the State of Nevada for violations of state and local laws prohibiting the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana not for purpose of sale, including NRS 453.336(4). The resolution does not cover other criminal convictions that may be associated with the underlying marijuana conviction.
Today’s action does not include records sealing, which is outside the scope of the Pardons Board. As a result, although these pardons forgive the underlying crimes, they do not remove the convictions from the person’s criminal records. During the 80th legislative session, the legislature passed and the Governor signed Assembly Bill 192, which provides a streamlined process for sealing convictions for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. This process is entirely free, and can be navigated without the assistance of an attorney.