Marijuana Resentencing Bill Passes CA Senate, Awaits Governor's Signature

August 22, 2018 - AB 1793 (Bonta), a bill to create a simpler and expedited pathway for Californians to have certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records, has passed the California Senate and is heading to the Governor's desk for his signature.

PLEASE WRITE TO GOV. BROWN AND ASK HIM TO SIGN AB 1793 INTO LAW

Proposition 64, which California voters passed in November 2016, legalized recreational cannabis use and allowed those with marijuana convictions to petition courts to dismiss their cases. But many aren’t aware that they qualify for resentencing, or can’t afford to bring a petition.

California has recorded 649,065 felony marijuana arrests from 1975 to 2016. A substantial portion of these resulted in felony convictions eligible for resentencing under AUMA. Many more misdemeanor arrests have occurred, some of which are also eligible for dismissal under AUMA.

The majority of prior offenders are unaware of their rights to resentencing under AUMA. Only a few thousand resentencing requests have been processed so far. In addition, Cal NORML attorneys report that many misdemeanor possession defendants whose records were supposed to be expunged after two years under prior law (HSC 11361.5) never actually had their records cleared.

The retention of felony or other criminal convictions on persons’ records exposes them to unwarranted discrimination and legal difficulties. The district attorneys of a few counties, such as San Francisco, Sonoma, and San Diego, have proactively moved to review prior marijuana convictions for resentencing. However, most have failed to do so. AB 1793 would address this problem on a statewide level.

Criminal convictions carry a lifelong stigma. Those with such convictions are often denied opportunities in the workplace and elsewhere. We should not continue to punish individuals whose actions are no longer defined as criminal under California state law.

PLEASE WRITE TO GOV. BROWN AND ASK HIM TO SIGN AB 1793 INTO LAW

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