LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Matthew John Speredelozzi | Jan 31, 2018

Overview - California's Prop 64

In November 2016, California passed a ballot initiative legalizing marijuana, now known as Prop 64 or The Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

In January, communities across the state will begin opening the first non-medical marijuana stores. In my opinion, this marks a huge step forward in the fight against the failed war on drugs and our culture of mass incarceration.

But it does even more than that. It also provides much needed relief for those who have already been convicted of marijuana related offenses. It allows folks to come out of the shadows of shame and stigma and have a second chance at a life without a scarlet letter.

For example,

-A person who has a misdemeanor conviction for simple possession that occurred when they were 21 or older is entitled to have their criminal record sealed and destroyed.

-A person convicted of a felony offense for possession with intent to sell that occurred when they were 21 or older may qualify for reduction of that felony to a misdemeanor offense.

-A person now serving a prison sentence for an offense that is now designated a misdemeanor may have a right to be re-sentenced and released from prison.

Many folks with both felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions now are eligible for relief to clean up and/or seal their records. Eligibility is complicated and depends on a number of different factors including your prior criminal record, age at the time of the offense, and the amount of marijuana involved.

Most importantly, Prop 64 relief is not automatic. It is the responsibility of the person who is eligible to file a petition in court requesting relief.

I can help with this by evaluating your eligibility and filing the appropriate petition. Contact my office today.

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