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Expungement program reportedly needs a bit more exposure

The wording of Turn Over a New Leaf is certainly clever. The accompanying details concerning its particulars don't seem to have been too well-considered, though.

New Leaf is a Denver initiative that took legal effect early this year. A recent media story notes its targeted audience of "thousands of people with past low-level marijuana convictions." Many of those individuals might now be eligible to apply for expungement.

Eligibility will be considered in cases where a charge addressed behavior that has been legal in Colorado since passage of Amendment 64 back in 2012. That enactment legalized recreational marijuana use across the state. Reportedly, 13,000 convicted offenders or more are eligible to apply for expungement.

Only 176 have done so as of earlier this month, though, with a scant 38 of them qualifying for past-crime erasure. That dismal result thus far has understandably drawn attention and comment.

It is also motivating program overseers and city officials to take more proactive steps to get the word out about New Leaf. Two public clinics were held last month in Denver. Additional forums are scheduled for this month and perhaps beyond.

New Leaf expungement eligibility is possible only for pot convictions relevant to offenses that occurred in Denver. Eligibility in other cities will hinge on the development of a similar program being established by officials in those locales. Reportedly, a law providing for expungement statewide will be introduced in the Colorado General Assembly later this year.

Questions regarding Turn Over a New Leaf or expungement in general can be directed to an established Denver criminal defense law firm.

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