Alameda Seeks to Dismiss 5,900 Marijuana Cases

Thousands of people convicted of marijuana-related crimes in Alameda County may soon see their records wiped clean, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced Tuesday. Alameda will become the latest jurisdiction after San Francisco to dismiss or reduce past marijuana convictions in light of cannabis legalization, even without a formal petition.

"California is offering a second chance to people convicted of cannabis crimes, from felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared," O'Malley said. "We join our State officials and intend to reverse decades of cannabis convictions that can be a barrier for people to gain meaningful employment."

Between November 2016 and December 31, 2017, the county has granted 609 petitions for marijuana conviction erasures. That’s a drop in the bucket. O’Malley estimates there are about 5,900 eligible cases affecting some 5,000 people in Alameda.

The D.A.’s office will begin by reviewing cases going back to 1974. All qualifying convictions will be tossed out or reduced where appropriate, whether or not the convict has asked the county to do so.


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