We’ve written about marijuana on numerous occasions for several reasons. California was the first state to establish a medical marijuana program and on November 8, 2016, the majority of California voters passed Proposition 64.
Prop 64: The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act legalized adult recreational marijuana use. What’s more, it laid out guidelines for taxing a drug that generates billions of dollars in sales each year.
However, perhaps the most vital element of Prop 64 is that it allows hundreds of thousands of Californians to clean up their criminal record. As we pointed out in a previous post, the law permits citizens to petition the courts to have their sentences expunged. Having one’s rap sheet cleared or reducing a felony to a misdemeanor is a big deal.
You might not know that felonies and even some misdemeanors can prevent individuals from getting hired or renting a home. A criminal record can also stand in the way of applying for loans.
Clearing A Criminal Record
There are roughly 39.75 million people living in California. Hundreds of thousands of them have a criminal record relating to cannabis use, cultivation, and distribution. Moreover, people are still being arrested despite changes in the law. It’s worth noting that there is racial disparity involving marijuana-related arrests across the state.
A 2016 study conducted by New Frontier found that African Americans account for almost a quarter of those serving jail time for marijuana offenses. One fourth is staggering, especially when African Americans make up just 6% of California’s population.
Even though Prop 64 provides an avenue for clearing one’s record, most people who could benefit from it have not. The reason many people with marijuana-related criminal records haven’t taken advantage of the provision is money and time. Petitioning the courts is not a simple task; it often requires hiring an attorney, which can be costly.
In an attempt to aid Californians in their effort to clear criminal records inexpensively, lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 1793 in September 2018. The legislation requires the state to proactively locate and process all marijuana cases eligible for expungement, The Orange County Register reports. Local prosecutors have until July 1, 2020, to process eligible cases.
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges relating to cannabis or any other drug, please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower for assistance. Attorney Brower brings decades of legal experience to the table and is the ideal candidate to advocate on your behalf.