Thanks to the groundbreaking legislation that went into full effect on January 1st, over one million California residents can have their past marijuana-related felonies reduced or expunged completely.
Proposition 64, which was passed in November 2016, legalized the recreational use of marijuana for California residents aged 21 or older. Since the legislation was approved, thousands of state residents have already had their marijuana felonies reduced to misdemeanors.
The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that there have been at least 500,000 arrests for marijuana-related incidents over the course of the last 10 years in California alone. Moreover, the organization says that at least one million residents are living under the shadow of such charges altogether.
Not having felonies on their criminal records means that they can vote and apply for loans and licenses. Prop 64 also means that they won’t have to say that they were convicted of a felony when applying for jobs. Additionally, the legislation has spared thousands from having to endure jail time or probation.
Over the course of the last year, state lawyers and marijuana legalization advocates have been hosting free legal workshops to educate residents on how they can apply to get their records changed. According to the Associated Press, getting the old charges dropped can be as easy as spending a few minutes in court.
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