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California Lawmakers Pass Bill to Erase Old Pot Convictions

California Lawmakers Pass Bill to Erase Old Pot Convictions

The Canadian Press
marijuana arrest handcuffs - California Lawmakers Pass Bill to Erase Old Pot Convictions

SAN FRANCISCO — A bill requiring California prosecutors to erase or reduce thousands of marijuana criminal convictions was approved by the state Legislature on Wednesday and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

When voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016 to allow the adult use of marijuana, they also eliminated several pot-related crimes. The proposition also applied retroactively to past pot convictions but provided no mechanism or guidance on how those eligible could erase their convictions or have felonies reduced to misdemeanors.

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would make that happen.

The bill orders the state Department of Justice to identify eligible cases between 1975 and 2016 and send the results to the appropriate prosecutor.

Most district attorneys have said they don’t have the resources to review past convictions to identify eligible cases.

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Paul Elias, The Associated Press

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