San Francisco Will Clear All Marijuana Misdemeanors Dating Back to 1975

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San Francisco announced it will retroactively apply California’s new marijuana legalization laws to prior convictions which would expunge or reduce misdemeanors and felonies dating back to 1975, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The district attorney’s office announced the decision on Thursday to review, recall, and resentence almost 5,000 felony marijuana convictions, along with more than 3,000 misdemeanors that were sentenced before Proposition 64’s passage will be dismissed and sealed.

District Attorney George Gascón said the decision will clear thousands of records from crimes that can often be barriers to employment or housing.

The decision could be part of a larger movement for addressing old pot convictions through a new criminal justice framework, though it’s unclear how many Californian counties will follow the city’s lead.

Proposition 64 legalizes the possession and purchase of up to an ounce of marijuana and allows individuals to grow up to six plants for personal use, but also allows people convicted of marijuana possession crimes eliminated by the proposition to petition the courts to have their record expunged of their convictions as long as the person does not pose a risk to public safety.

Citizens can also petition to have some crimes reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, including possession of more than an ounce of marijuana by someone who is 18 or older.

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