Articles Tagged with California marijuana criminal defense

When voters in California legalized recreational use cannabis six years ago, a major component included a legal pathway through which courts could clear most past marijuana convictions – or at least lower the charges to something less severe.Riverside marijuana conviction lawyer

This made good sense for several reasons:

  • Most marijuana convictions were for non-violent, low-level offenses.
  • Minorities and the economically disadvantaged were greatly disproportionately impacted by marijuana laws.
  • To right the injustice of people now making good money (it’s a multi-billion dollar industry in California) for the same activity that previously sent others to prison.

But despite this and a 2018 law passed with the intention of speeding up the process for tens of thousands of Californians still stuck grappling with felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions on their record, our Riverside marijuana lawyers know that the process has been slow-going. This fact was confirmed by a recent Los Angeles Times investigation.

It’s worth noting that the process was never going to be fully automatic. But at this point, there are still an estimated 34,000 people in the state with marijuana crimes on their record that haven’t been processed for the clean slate they deserve. There were twice that many before last August, which is when the Times started raising questions about why it was taking so long (presumably lighting a fire under officials to prioritize the effort).

It appears the primary bottleneck in the process that involves 58 prosecutors’ offices and the state Department of Justice is the courts. Some counties have been working with a fair amount of diligence to clear records for people in their communities. In total, 117,000 cases have been processed in California. Others, however, have been incredibly slow. For example, in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, not a single case has been processed. Others, like Kern County, are only at 18 percent. Continue reading

To answer a question that still commonly crops up for our Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense attorneys: Yes, you can still get busted for cannabis-related offenses in the state of California.Los Angeles criminal defense marijuana

When California legalized cannabis for recreational purposes with Prop. 64, broadly opening the market for adult consumers earlier this year, it did not legalize all cultivation, production, sale and possession of the drug. Instead, marijuana legalization was inducted into a highly-regulated market. And while criminal arrests for cannabis possession are down, there is still a risk of running afoul of state regulations and criminal codes.

This summer, a crime report issued by the state revealed that while marijuana-related arrests in mid-2018 saw a significant drop this year compared to last (56 percent overall, with felony marijuana arrests down 74 percent), there is still a risk that Californians and visitors could face substantial jail or prison terms, hefty fines and criminal records. Still, the number facing those risks fell by 8,000 from 2016 to 2017.

Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense attorneys as well as those with the Drug Policy Alliance and other supporters who have long-backed marijuana legalization efforts, overall this is good news, as it means less taxpayer-funded law enforcement resources are being dedicated to non-violent drug-related offenses, and the focus now can rightly shift to more serious crimes.  Continue reading

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