Bonta Bill Streamlines Removal of Cannabis Convictions from Californians’ Records
(SACRAMENTO) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has introduced AB 1793 which creates a simpler and expedited pathway for Californians to turn the page and make a fresh start by having certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records.
Proposition 64 – which voters passed with 57 percent approval in November 2016 – contained provisions that not only reduced or eliminated many marijuana law violations, it made those changes retroactive. That means people with felonies or misdemeanors on their records are now legally entitled to ask the courts to expunge or reduce those criminal records.
AB 1793 will help legally-entitled Californians take advantage of this opportunity to clear their own records by removing barriers and streamlining the process. AB 1793 will require automatic expungement of these outdated criminal convictions and create a path that shifts the burden from the individual to the courts.
“AB 1793 will give people the fresh start to which they are legally entitled and allow them to move on with their lives,” said Bonta. “The War on Drugs unjustly and disproportionately targeted young people of color for enforcement and prosecution.”
“Long after paying their debt to society, the collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction continues to disrupt their lives in profound ways such as preventing them from gaining employment or finding housing,” said Bonta.
“The role of government should be to ease burdens and expedite the operation of law— not create unneeded obstacles, barriers and delay. This is a practical, common sense bill. These individuals are legally-entitled to expungement or reduction and a fresh start. It should be implemented without unnecessary delay or burden,” Bonta concluded.
Assemblymember Rob Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro and is the Assistant Majority Leader and Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus.