After California voted to fully legalize marijuana in 2016, San Francisco and San Diego are moving to clear many past marijuana convictions. This stems from a provision in the marijuana law that grants individuals who were convicted of marijuana-related charges the opportunity to have their records expunged. However, expunging records can be costly and often requires hiring a lawyer, paying court fees, etc. Because of this, the district attorney’s in San Francisco and San Diego have decided to dismiss eligible cases at no cost to the defendants.
San Francisco has identified roughly 3000 marijuana convictions that are eligible for automatic erasure, as well as, an additional 4900 felony cases that prosecutors will examine to determine if they should be retroactively reduced to misdemeanors. San Diego has identified 4700 cases both felonies and misdemeanors that are eligible to be cleared or downgraded.