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Cannabis Expungement Bill Passes California Legislature

On Wednesday, the California state legislature approved a bill that requires the state’s Department of Justice to review cannabis convictions from 1975 to 2009 and produce a list of convictions to be expunged or reduced, the Winters Express¬†reports.

Assembly Bill 1793 was introduced in the California State Assembly by Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). California’s Department of Justice (CDOJ) said there may be as many as 220,000 convictions that are eligible for expungement or reduction.

The CDOJ has until July 1, 2020, to compile and edit the list of eligible cases. At that time, prosecutors would have a review period to exempt certain cases from expungement or reduction if they deem it “an unreasonable risk to public safety.”

Proposition 64, the measure that legalized adult-use cannabis in California, already removed cannabis convictions for previous offenders but provided no structure or mechanism to make the change. Most state district attorneys claim a lack of resources made it impossible for them to review all older cases, which will no longer be a good enough answer should Gov. Jerry Brown sign this bill into law.

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