County officials in recent weeks have either reduced or vacated the convictions of several hundred past cannabis offenders. Their actions are similar to those recently announced by the district attorney’s offices of San Francisco and Alameda County, both of which are in the process of reviewing and dismissing thousands of past marijuana convictions.
According to media reports, San Diego county officials have already taken steps to either reduce or dismiss an estimated 700 past convictions. Another 4,000 cases are awaiting action. County officials are also seeking relief for several offenders currently incarcerated for marijuana-related violations.
“We want to be pro-active,” said county interim district attorney Summer Stephan. “It’s clear to us that the law was written to allow this relief, and it’s important that we give full effect to the will of the people, especially for those immediately affected.”
Provisions in the state’s 2016 voter-approved marijuana law allow those with past marijuana convictions to petition the court for expungement. Legislation is pending in the California Assembly, AB 1793, to make this process automatic for anyone with an eligible past cannabis conviction.