San Francisco expunges thousands of marijuana cases under prop 64

Blog Post

California’s new marijuana legalization laws have already had an impact since taking effect in January 2018. Last month, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced a move that will retroactively dismiss thousands of marijuana-related cases dating as far back as 1975.

According to a report released in 2016 by the DPA, between 2006 to 2015 an estimated 500,000 people were arrested in California for marijuana-related crimes. Since 1915, California law enforcement made approximately 2,756,778 cannabis arrests.

Before, those affected by marijuana-related charges worried about being able to find a job or rent an apartment would typically need to petition the court to have their record expunged; a process that tends to last a minimum of several months and can cost hundreds – and sometimes, thousands – of dollars.

Now, San Francisco applicants with marijuana related charges will be in a much better position for landing that new gig or renting that new place. The best part? They won’t need to endure the usual, lengthy expungement process!

Mr. Gascón said, “[he] wanted to avoid putting people through a process that he said violates the spirit of legalization.”

Individuals convicted of a marijuana possession misdemeanor charge, for an amount less than 28.5 grams, may have their records dismissed entirely. While those with marijuana felony records may qualify to have their records reduced, so long as their circumstances meet the following criteria:

  • They have not suffered a conviction pursuant to Penal Code Section 667(e)(2)(c)(4);
  • They are not required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code Section 290;
  • They do not have two or more prior convictions under the same Health and Safety Code Sections of 11358, 11359, or 11360;
  • The conviction did not involve the sale or attempted sale to a person under the age of 18;
  • The conviction did not involve a person under the age of 21 in possessing for sale, selling or cultivating marijuana; and,
  • The conviction did not involve the importation or exportation over state lines of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana.

Individuals looking to determine whether they have marijuana convictions on their criminal record can sign up to view their own background check for free at Better Future.

The below graphic illustrates an overview of California’s updated “Pot Penalties” with Prop 64 now in place.

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