Last week the District Attorney in San Francisco said that the city will expunge or reduce thousands of criminal convictions for marijuana dating back decades. Leland Rucker, senior editor at Sensi Magazine, says that Proposition 64, which California voters approved, allows people convicted of marijuana charges to petition courts to toss out the cases or reduce penalties. But it takes time and costs money, so the city plans to review and wipe out 40 years of cases dating back to 1975, five years after the Controlled Substances Act was passed.
This follows word earlier in the month that California Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a Democrat from Oakland, introduced legislation last month that would require courts to automatically expunge the records of Californians convicted of offenses that are now legal under Proposition 64, such as possessing up to an ounce of weed and growing up to six plants for personal use, and to re-sentence those individuals whose crimes, such as selling marijuana, were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.
Here in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper is exploring whether to release nearly 40 inmates convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses. In November, Hickenlooper issued pardons to seven people convicted of marijuana possession who applied to have their past crimes forgiven. Now he has identified about 40 inmates serving prison sentences only for marijuana possession or sale crimes and examining the cases and the inmates’ conduct in prison.