The new law under Proposition 64 that has taken effect in California in regards to the legalization of Marijuana will go retroactive in San Francisco. It was announced on Wednesday (Jan. 31) by the district attorney that convictions that are current and dating back to 1975 will be expunged or reduced. A report by the Los Angeles Times was used as a reference for most of the material in this article.

According to the city’s records, there are over 3,000 misdemeanors and the city intends to dismiss them all. As for felonies, records have it that there are nearly 5,000 cases, and those will be reviewed. Felonies, depending on the severity of the crime, will not be dismissed, but they will most likely be reduced to misdemeanors.

District Attorney George Gascón stated that the city of San Francisco will apply the new law and go retroactive in order to boost certain citizens’ opportunities to get employment. He added these kinds of records can be barriers and need to be dismissed with the new law in effect.

What is the new law on marijuana?

The new law, Proposition 64, states that Californians are allowed to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana for medical or recreational use. Californians are also allowed to grow up to six plants in their homes for personal use.

Proposition 64 also allows people convicted of a marijuana crime to have their convictions eliminated. Of course, this would only apply to individuals that were convicted of a misdemeanor. A person with a felony can only have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor under the new proposition on marijuana.

District Attorney’s thoughts

Dist. Attr. George Gascón stated that the federal government is going backward with the marijuana policy. However, the city of San Francisco has decided to go forward with Proposition 64 and to start patching up the disaster that the war on marijuana has created over the past years.

Gascón claims that the country made a big mistake with the approach on marijuana over the years and that it has broken the “pocketbooks” of the nation. He also claims that the nation has failed to distinguish what is "dangerous" and what is a "nuisance” when it comes to drugs, hence breaking communities throughout the country.

How did San Francisco vote for Proposition 64?

The Northern Californian city had 75 percent of the votes from its citizens to pass the proposition that legalized marijuana. In the past year, 23 petitions were filed to expunge, dismiss, or reduce Proposition 64, and none prevailed.

Petitions were also filed to have marijuana crimes expunged or reduced to misdemeanors in San Francisco. However, the process can be pretty difficult, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, who was very much in support of Proposition 64 to pass.

So, San Francisco decided to take action instead of waiting for the community to go through a difficult process. Now, people who have been convicted of a marijuana crime, dating back to 1975, could have their crimes expunged or reduced to a misdemeanor.