Californians with cannabis convictions can clear their records
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — While marijuana is legal for adults to buy and use in California, as a result of Proposition 64, many Californians may not realize that the measure also gives people with cannabis-related convictions the right to have their past offenses either reduced or removed.
The new law allows adults to possess, purchase and consume up to an ounce of marijuana and up to eight grams of marijuana concentrate.
It’s also legal now to grow up to six plants. Under the previous law, possession of a single plant could result in a felony. San Diego attorney Michael Cindrich said numerous people have asked for his help in clearing their records.
“In some cases, we’ve had clients who were on felony probation, and the felonies were reduced to misdemeanors, so they were taken off of felony probation, no longer had a probation officer, and they were no longer subject to terms and conditions such as not being able to travel outside the county or state without permission,” Cindrich said.
He said he’s also had clients who were released from jail, based on having their prior convictions reduced or overturned.
State Assemblymember Rob Bonta, of Oakland would like to make the expungement process even easier.
He’s proposed state legislation that would clear convictions automatically instead of leaving individuals with the responsibility and cost of filing a petition with the court. Cindrich thought that was a good idea.
“This would put the burden on the courts and there would be no cost to the individuals,” Cindrich said.
As of last September, more than 4,800 Californians had petitioned the courts to have their marijuana convictions removed or reclassified.