Bonta Cannabis Convictions Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor’s Desk

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

AB 1793 Creates Simpler Pathway for People to Exercise Existing Right to Reduce or Remove Out-dated Cannabis Convictions from Their Records

 

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) issued the following statement on AB 1793 passing the Senate and moving to the Governor’s Desk:

“AB 1793 will bring people closer to realizing their existing rights by creating a simpler pathway for Californians to turn the page and have certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed from or reduced on their records. When Proposition 64 was passed by voters in 2016, it contained provisions that not only prospectively reduced or eliminated many cannabis law violations, but made those changes retroactive. This means people with felonies or misdemeanors for cannabis-related offenses that were changed by Proposition 64 are now legally entitled to petition the courts to expunge or reduce those convictions.”

“However, the majority of eligible individuals have not gone through the process of petitioning the courts. Many people are unaware of this opportunity to change their records, but even for those who know their rights, navigating the legal system’s bureaucracies can be confusing, costly and time-consuming.”

“Several local District Attorneys in counties like Alameda, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Sonoma, and Yolo are reducing or dismissing Prop. 64-eligible convictions without requiring individuals to initiate the process. However, this is only a handful of California’s 58 counties.”

“Specifically, AB 1793 provides relief by requiring the state Department of Justice to search their criminal record database to identify all Californians potentially eligible for reduction or expungement and to then provide this information to the District Attorney’s Office by July 1, 2019. After the District Attorney has an opportunity to review, the court can then modify the record if there is no challenge by the District Attorney.”

“Long after paying their debt to society, people shouldn’t continue to face the collateral consequences, like being denied a job or housing, because they have an outdated conviction on their record.”

“I’m proud to see AB 1793 pass the Senate with bi-partisan support and I’m hopeful the Governor will sign this important bill.”

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.


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