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Californian lawmakers have agreed to a measure that prosecutors use to convict or cut down many decades of marijuana convictions. The bill is now waiting for a signature from Governor Jerry Brown, according to the Associated Press.
The bill, which was approved by the US Senate on Wednesday with 22-8 votes, would force the state Department of Justice to review the dates as early as 1975 to 2016 to determine its suitability.
Proposition 64, adopted by Californian voters in 2016, legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
As The Associated Press notes, "When voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016 to allow marijuana for adults, they also eliminated several pot-related crimes." The proposal also retroactively applied for pot condemnation, but did not provide any Mechanism or guidance on how those claimants could extinguish their convictions or reduce crime to misdeeds. "
The new law would impose the burden of clearing these records on the state. When the Bill enters into force, State Department officials must decide by 1 July 2019 which cases are eligible for review and hand them over to the Procuratorate, which has another year to raise objections.
Democratic Rep. Rob Bonta introduced the bill in January. He was also part of the group demanding the approval of Proposition 64.
"This points us out to forget any previously illegal behavior, you should not get a passport," Republican Senator Nielsen, who declined the measure, told colleagues, after The Los Angeles Times
NPR reported in December that more than 4,000 people had petitioned for their marijuana-related crimes in the courts. However, there are still many people who are unaware that they can request a review of their conviction. NPR Ari Shapiro spoke with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon on the issue in February.
San Francisco takes action to remove and reduce convictions for possession and recreational use because only 23 people in the city started the process themselves
"The problem is that when you go through this process, you have one You have to petition the court, you have to come to a hearing, it's a very expensive and very complicated process, "Gascon said in an interview.
"[The] Reality is that the majority of people who were punished and those who suffered in this war on marijuana, war on drugs at the national level, were people who can not afford one Lawyer to pay, "he said.
According to Bonta, quoted in the LA Times, the new bill would mitigate this stress.
"[The] The role of the government should be to alleviate the burdens and speed up the operation of the law – not to create unnecessary obstacles, barriers and delays," he said.
In December 2017, Brown pardoned nearly 150 people, including about 60, who were convicted of alleged substances and drugs. At least 10 of these pardons and sentences were imposed on persons sentenced for marijuana charges.
The state law gives Brown 12 days from Wednesday to sign or veto the legislation, or it becomes final without his signature.