California: Alameda County District Attorney To Vacate Thousands Of Past Marijuana Convictions

The District Attorney for Alameda County has announced her intent to automatically vacate thousands of past marijuana convictions. Alameda County, which includes Oakland, is the 7th-most populous county in California.

According to the DA’s office, there are an estimated 6,000 marijuana convictions eligible for either a sentence reduction or a dismissal.

“California is offering a second chance to people convicted of cannabis crimes, from felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Mally said in a press statement. “We … intend to reverse decades of cannabis convictions that can be a barrier for people to gain meaningful employment.”

The policy change comes weeks after the San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced that it will review, dismiss, and seal an estimated 3,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

Seattle officials have also announced a similar plan to dismiss past convictions, opining, “[T]his action is a necessary first step in righting the wrongs of the past and putting our progressive values into action.” Last week, newly elected Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also announced that his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession offense violations.

10 thoughts

  1. Wow, California seems like a completely different country altogether compared to where I now live; Virginia.

    It seems like the leaders in California actually listen to their citizens and take action to enhance their lives instead of ruining them for petty things like they do here in Virginia.

    I would hate to be caught with even a single gram of cannabis here. It could result in fines, major jail time, and a lot of your belongings being legally stolen via asset allocation laws.

    My wife and I are planning to move as soon as we are able to save enough money to do so. We are completely disgusted with the way things are done here.

    Poll after poll shows that the people of Virginia want cannabis to be legal and regulated for adults. In spite of that the majority of Republican Senators and Congressmen still want to continue with their war against cannabis consumers and that results in many good lives being ruined.

    1. Miles,
      I sympathize with your desire to save up and leave. I love my homestate of Texas but I can’t deny that traveling to Canada in the summer and Mexico in the winter leaves me shopping around for my options.

      However as both of us are in non voter initiative states we have an obligation, however unjust, to face our elected state legislators, vet them during campaigns and expand upon the marijuana policies we have. Virginia was able to do that recently and thats no small achievement. Expanding state mmj policy right after our elections in November is precisely what Texas NORML intends to do as well.

      States with voter initiatives too often take them for granted. I didn’t even know Oklahoma had them. Now they’re poised to pass a much more effective mmj program in June with only $100 dispensary application fees. And then just yesterday the Republican legislature voted to make voter initiatives harder to qualify, in “fear” of a responsible adult legalization market. Use it or lose it under a Republican legislature. Better yet, lose the Repubs and any Democrats that don’t support a legal mj market too.

      1. The criticism against Democrats is that they only oppose Trump, and stand for nothing on their own. That may have been true during the Gore/Lieberman era, but it’s not true anymore: Democrats are coming out for marijuana legalization! Finally. (Among other things, like equal rights, economic justice, and so on.)

        Blue Dog Democrats now stick out like a sore thumb! Time to amputate!

  2. Marijuana makes you think, sometimes.

    Tad off topic, but for example, I just recently got me a half a Z of MTF (Matanuska Thunderfuck), smoked some, and had a thought!

    Republicans feel strong emotion, and a sense of identity with their political party, the GOP. It’s a sense of belonging, and righteousness, and justification, and pride. But that’s all just a feeling!

    Those are just emotions. But, Passion gives the illusion of purpose. Take music, for example. If you hear a love song on the radio, and feel the emotion of romance, you might assume that was because you were thinking about the topic of love, as you listened to the lyrics.

    But no. That was just the music manipulating your emotions. Because the idiot song “Convoy” will do the same thing to you, and it’s about the most boring thing in the world: long-haul trucking! Yet, try it… You’ll see! Listen to the song, if you dare. The damn song makes you FEEL like truckers serve a glorious purpose of some sort, transcending their cargo of gravel, or Pepsi, or whatever. It gets you, even if you don’t like trucking, don’t like country music, and don’t want to feel that way about any of it!

    I won’t provide the link, that would be cruel; but you get the idea.

    Emotion is not Reason. Don’t vote on emotion. You will be manipulated that way, misled and exploited.

    Vote rationally!

  3. Congress evolved into its ostrich mode because of the real world of institutions around us. The physics of our being here and discussing this topic is the same physics that governs the tides and planets. As such, there are no emotional reasons for anything. Why doesn’t congress react to the majority opinion that weed is medicinal and recreational? Because that would mean they heard us, as being the reason for change, which violates the constraint that there are no emotional reasons for anything. Logic on the other hand, is well defined even if a reasonable and emotional person has no voice or hand in the mix of a debate. The mechanical universe is a perfect clock without intent, except when we observe our own intent to survive until the next expected tick and call that awareness. Mental health will of course be the next great exploration of mankind, but through weed not neuroscience and government micromanagement. Many highly educated and influential scientists still insist without proof that the brain contains the human mind and its logic, emotions, and awareness, while ignoring it is illogical to assume we each have an electrical box the size of a grapefruit inside of which our whole life occurred.

  4. Great news!…and yet…Elderly/Disabled persons in The State of Illinois are denied equal access to health care in the form of medical marijuana.

    Any person with any drug felony (however antiquated) is denied safe access to the medicine our Physicians may recommend.

    My cannabis crime was committed more than twenty years ago.

    I am disabled at level P2a.

    I refuse to ruin what is left of my health(age 66) with opioids or other dangerous “medicines”.

    How many times must I run the gauntlet?

    I suppose I represent hundreds of thousands of persons similarly situated in Illinois.

    Is this just?…or is this just simple and continuing persecution?

    1. @ Eric Johnson,
      No, it is not just.
      But it may still represent harm reduction. Harm reduction is like getting hostages off a bus that has been taken over by terrorists. Ideally, of course, you want all the hostages freed. But you work the crime scene, knowing you’re dealing with psychos, to minimize the danger, and get as many hostages off the bus as possible.

      Would you say weed is easier to get now in IL? Have prices come down for quality? Just wondering.

      In any case, I am sympathetic to your dilemma. Medical issues are still being treated as criminal issues.

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