California: Marijuana Expungement Measure Awaits Governor’s Signature

Members of the California Assembly and Senate have approved legislation to facilitate the review and expungement of past marijuana convictions.

Assembly members approved the bill, AB 1793, by a vote of 43 to 28, while members of the Senate passed the measure by a vote of 28 to 10. The legislation now awaits final action by Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown.

If enacted, the measure “would require the Department of Justice, before July 1, 2019, to review the records in the state summary criminal history information database and to identify past convictions that are potentially eligible for recall or dismissal of sentence, dismissal and sealing, or redesignation pursuant to AUMA (the Adult Use Marijuana Act).” Prosecutors would have up to a year to then expunge the conviction.

Regulators estimate that some 220,000 cases would be eligible for erasure or a reduction under the law.

To date, district attorney offices in a number of California cities and counties, including San Francisco and San Diego, have voluntarily moved to review and expunge past cannabis convictions.

Elected officials in Oregon and Massachusetts have enacted similar expungement laws following the enactment of adult use legalization.

If you reside in California, you can encourage Gov. Brown to sign AB 1793 into law by clicking here.