Two years ago, Sacramento County District Attorney Ann-Marie Schubert was an ardent opponent of Proposition 64, California’s cannabis legalization measure. She blasted the initiative as a threat to children and as a vehicle for convicted drug dealers to enter the legal marijuana trade.
District attorneys in San Francisco and San Diego announced that they would unilaterally review more than 12,000 cases involving cannabis to revise or expunge the charges.
But after state voters approved Prop. 64, Schubert directed her office to create a framework to respond to requests from former cannabis defendants wanting convictions modified or expunged, as allowed under the wording of the initiative.
“Since it has passed, she (Schubert) is here to enforce the law—and she wants relief granted when people are entitled to it,” said Robert Gold, the assistant chief deputy district attorney.
Prop. 64 reduced penalties for cannabis offenses and allowed people with marijuana convictions to file legal petitions to have the charges reduced or cleared. Now many felony convictions for cannabis sales, possession for sale, or marijuana cultivation can be reclassified as misdemeanors. Misdemeanor convictions for possession of cannabis concentrates or less than an ounce of flower can be expunged entirely since they are longer considered crimes under Prop. 64.
California Is Still Arresting Too Many People of Color for Cannabis
Bold Moves in SF and San Diego
Recently, two California district attorneys—in liberal San Francisco and, surprisingly, in San Diego, a jurisdiction long hostile to cannabis—announced that they would unilaterally review more than 12,000 felony or misdemeanor cases involving marijuana offenses to revise or expunge the charges.
The actions triggered questions over whether other jurisdictions are doing enough to clear cannabis records for offenses that are no longer crimes. The matter could be a potential political consideration