Old Marijuana Convictions be Gone, Thanks to California Program

cannabis lawyerA California-developed online tool, called ‘Clear My Record,’ which helps people with eligible convictions clear their criminal records, is set to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans previously convicted of marijuana related crimes.

In 2016 when Californian voters legalized marijuana, state officials hoped to reverse decades of marijuana convictions. Especially convictions making it difficult for people to secure substantial employment. And particularly because those affected most disproportionately by marijuana criminal convictions hail from low-income minority groups.

Now, thanks to a new technology, California prosecutors can quickly overturn or lessen approximately 220,000 old marijuana convictions.

If you need legal representation to erase or reduce marijuana convictions, our Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys can help.

‘Clear My Record’ Now Available Across California
The company behind the computer program is a San Francisco based non-profit tech organization, called Code for America. It is making its ‘Clear My Record’ algorithm available, free of charge, to all 58 California district attorneys. And the program’s impact cannot be overstated, as it effortlessly scours court documents to identify eligible conviction review cases, both recent and dating back decades.

Previously, six counties including Los Angeles and San Francisco, had used Clear My Record, but only on a trial basis. That trail resulted in the clearing of an estimated 75,000 cannabis convictions. And now the tool is available to benefit all Californians eligible for a conviction review.

When voters legalized marijuana in 2016 with the passing of Proposition 64, where appropriate, they agreed to:

  • remove some marijuana-related crimes;
  • remove past criminal convictions; and
  • reduce felonies to misdemeanors.

So. Many. Records.
The problem was finding a way to sort through masses of records and pinpoint who was qualified for conviction reviews, in a timely manner.

Enter Code for America’s computer program, which does just that, and more. The program delivers because it quickly identifies eligible cases, and even goes a step further by auto-filling the necessary forms to file with the courts, so conviction reviews can begin promptly. By analyzing approximately 10,000 people per minute, the computer program far outpaces county employees, who would otherwise have to comb through individual records and compile paperwork for each case warranting a review.

The window in time for reviewing convictions, however, is not open-ended. Between now and July, district attorneys must decide whether they’ll dismiss sentences or fight to reduce convictions.

Legal Implications
Overturning marijuana convictions of this sort, is a good thing for those eligible. It extends a second chance to people once convicted of marijuana crimes, by way of clearing their criminal records, or sharply reducing the charges.

Having access to a free online tool that leads people through the marijuana conviction review process, will bring relief to countless Californians. It will be especially impactful for those who until now have watched employment, housing and a host of other opportunities close off to them, because of a criminal marijuana record.

About Cannabis Law Group
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

Additional Resources:
Proposition 64 – The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act
The Washington Post

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