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How The Passage of Prop 64 Can Help You

Posted in Criminal Law,Drug Crimes,In The News on December 8, 2016

With the passage of Proposition 64 (officially the “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” also commonly known as the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,”) on November 8, 2016, certain marijuana-related activities, which were previously crimes, were decriminalized.  Further, other crimes which were previously classified as felonies can potentially be reduced to misdemeanors. Not only did Prop 64 affect the way marijuana offenses will be treated moving forward, a provision within the bill allows for some defendants who were previously convicted to have their convictions retroactively reduced to misdemeanors, or, in some cases, entirely dismissed.

As the voters of the state recognized the medicinal benefits of marijuana, Prop 64 effectively decriminalizes personal-type possession and cultivation of marijuana for those 21 years old, or older.  Now, those over 21 can (1) possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain or give away up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, (2) possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process not more than 6 living marijuana plants and products produced by the plants at either their private residence or grounds, in a locked place, and not open to public view, (3) smoke or ingest marijuana and marijuana products, and (4) possess, transport, purchase, obtain, use, manufacture or give away without compensation to persons 21 years or older, any marijuana accessories.

The types of crimes which may be reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors are violations of Health and Safety Code sections 11357, 11358, 11359, 11360, simple possession of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and sales/transportation of marijuana, respectively.   Relief is available to anyone who has suffered a conviction of those crimes, whether they are currently in custody, on probation/parole, or have completed their sentence.  It is important to keep in mind, however, that relief may not be available (1) to those with a prior “super strike” on their record, or those required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code section 290, (2) where the crime involved a minor as a participant, target or victim, or involved interstate transportation or importation, or (3) if the court feels the defendant poses “an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.”[1]

The dismissals and reclassifications are not automatic; you must petition the court for relief.  If you feel that you might qualify for relief, an experienced lawyer can help you file a petition to either have your conviction dismissed, or have your offense reclassified.  We at the Li & Lozada Law Group have already filed such petitions on behalf of our clients, and have obtained positive outcomes for our clients.  If you’d like to see if we can help you, give Devina Douglas a call at (707) 321-5287.


[1] The type of factors which are considered in assessing a person’s danger to public safety include: “The petitioner’s criminal conviction history, including the type of crimes committed, the extent of injury to victims, the length of prior prison commitments, and the remoteness of the crimes; (2) The petitioner’s disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated; (3) Any other evidence the court, within its discretion, determines to be relevant to deciding whether a new sentence would result in an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.”  Penal Code section 1170.18(b).