California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) is urging the prosecuting attorneys throughout the state to expedite their overdue processing of past marijuana convictions in order to allow eligible individuals to have their sentences reduced or removed and past records sealed from public view. Proposition 64, which California voters passed in 2016 to legalize cannabis for adults, allowed people with certain prior convictions to petition to the courts for relief, an effort to undo criminal consequences of conduct that is no longer illegal. The plan rolled out inconsistently across the state and into repeated delays, so in 2018 lawmakers passed separate legislation to streamline the process. Bonta, a state assembly member at the time, was that bill’s lead sponsor. “Since this law went into effect,” he said in a statement Wednesday, “tens of thousands of Californians have been able to turn the page and make a fresh start—but unfortunately there are still some who are waiting for relief. I urge counties to prioritize processing their records so that these Californians can finally get the relief they deserve.” Prosecutors had until July of last year to review eligible cases and decide whether to challenge them, but some have still not forwarded necessary information to courts, the attorney general’s office said.
Ben Adlin, Marijuana Moment, 12/16/2021 08:25:00