Erasure of Marijuana Convictions Could Get Easier Under Proposed Bill

One of the lesser-known but significant provisions of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act has to do with the treatment of people with prior marijuana convictions. Proposition 64 allowed some convicts to downgrade marijuana-related felonies to misdemeanors or expunge the convictions from their records altogether.

Right now, that process must be initiated by the convict or their lawyer. But a bill just introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) hopes to change that. His bill, AB 1793, would require courts to automatically expunge records eligible under the 2016 law.

Bonta said the bill would “give folks who deserve it under the law the fresh start they’re entitled to.”

As Drug Policy Alliance Deputy State Director Laura Thomas notes, many convicts are unaware that they can clear their records under Prop 64 or else lack the resources to do so.