North Dakota clears way for pardons on pot offenses

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is moving to allow people with low-level marijuana convictions to apply for pardons and have their records wiped clean if they avoid unlawful behavior for five years.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem both supported the plan adopted Wednesday by the state pardon advisory board.

North Dakota joins other states and cities nationwide that are trying to fix problems the convictions have caused for people trying to find jobs and housing.

North Dakota’s plan doesn’t go as far as some others in automatically dismissing or pardoning convictions. Instead, people applying for pardons would have to fill out an online form. The deadline for the first round of applications is Aug. 10.

Stenehjem says as many as 175,000 marijuana convictions over several decades could be eligible.