California Bill Would Ease Erasure of Pot Convictions

A California lawmaker wants to make it easier for people with marijuana convictions to erase or reduce their records now that pot is legal in the state.

Posted: Jan. 9, 2018 12:43 PM
Updated: Jan. 9, 2018 12:43 PM

By KATHLEEN RONAYNE
Associated Press

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A California lawmaker wants to make it easier for people with marijuana convictions to erase or reduce their records now that pot is legal in the state.

The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland would require county courts to automatically expunge eligible records or reduce convictions from felonies to misdemeanors. Currently people who want their records clean must initiate the process themselves.

The ability to wipe records was approved by voters as part of Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana when it passed in 2016. But many people haven't taken advantage of it.

Bonta says the bill will ensure anyone legally eligible can get a "fresh start" by eliminating convictions that can prevent them from getting jobs or other services.

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