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San Diego DA Files Motion To Reduce And Dismiss Marijuana Convictions

Customers buy products at a medical marijuana dispensary, April 20, 2016.

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Customers buy products at a medical marijuana dispensary, April 20, 2016.

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The District Attorney's Office says it has reduced or dismissed more than 1,600 marijuana-related convictions since 2016, when Proposition 64 was voted into law, legalizing recreational marijuana use in California.

Aired: February 25, 2020 | Transcript

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that it has filed a motion to reduce nearly 25,962 felony marijuana convictions to misdemeanors, while also moving to dismiss 1,040 misdemeanor marijuana convictions completely.

The District Attorney's Office says it has reduced or dismissed more than 1,600 marijuana-related convictions since 2016, when Proposition 64 was voted into law, legalizing recreational marijuana use in California.

The DA's Office's reduction and dismissal motions are pending review by a judge.

Under Proposition 64, felony convictions of marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale and transporting marijuana are all eligible for resentencing, while misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions are eligible for dismissal. Assembly Bill 1793 required the state and county to take the lead in reducing or dismissing the convictions.

District Attorney Summer Stephan said her office has "been a leader in the state and proactive on giving individuals with marijuana convictions the opportunity to move forward with their lives without a conviction that may have been negatively impacting their lives by restricting their employment or housing."

"This latest motion is the continuation of work that began more than two years ago," she said. "It's clear that the law was written to allow this relief, and it's important that we give full effect to the will of the people."

The San Diego County D.A.'s motion came about a week after Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced her office will dismiss nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions dating back as far as 1961, joining San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties in the California Clear My Record pilot program.

Those seeking information on whether they qualify for a conviction reduction or dismissal are advised to contact the San Diego County Public Defender's Office at 619-338-4700.

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