California: Governor Signs Legislation Expunging Past Marijuana Convictions

Sacramento, CA: Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation, Assembly Bill 1793, facilitating the automatic review and expungement of hundreds of thousands of past marijuana convictions.

The new law requires “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 re-designation pursuant to AUMA (the Adult Use Marijuana Act).” Prosecutors would have up to a year to either vacate the conviction or to reduce it from a felony to a misdemeanor.

An estimated half-million Californians are eligible for relief under the law.

“It’s safe to say the number of persons eligible to have their offenses reduced from felonies to misdemeanors is in the hundreds of thousands,” said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML. “Most people should be relieved to no longer have a felony on their record.”

Governor Brown also took action on several other marijuana-related bills. Specifically, he vetoed Senate Bill 1127, which permitted certain students to access medicinal cannabis products on school grounds, and Assembly Bill 1996, which authorized the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to cultivate marijuana for clinical trial research. The Governor also vetoed Senate Bill 829, which prohibited cultivation taxes from being imposed on medicinal cannabis designated for donation to indigent patients, and signed into law Senate Bill 1294, which allocates grant funding to assist minority-owned businesses in the cannabis industry.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.