New law in California. The great reform of October, 2, 2018
The new California law will soon make it easier for people with past marijuana convictions to get rid of their records or, even more, to get their sentences remarkably reduced.
Assembly Bill 1793 passed with almost no resistance in the California state Legislature. It was signed by the Governor Jerry Brown.
Mr. Rodney Holcombe, from Drug Policy Alliance, an organization that looks after the human rights – driven drug policies expressed his joy for this new legal situation. He literary said: “This creates an opportunity for people to reclaim their lives.”
Acting this way, California gives an incredible opportunity to those growers who want to reclaim their lives.
This new law is an incredible goal in the fight to legalize cannabis. California is a pioneer in removing the records and reducing the sentences of crimes related to cannabis. However, it is not the first state in the USA. Oregon (legalized recreational weed in 2014) was the first state that gave the chance to get rid of the records related with possession, cultivation or manufacturing.
Anyway, besides Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and some cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego, have laws similar laws.
Anyhow, California has been the first state to automate the system. It is a way to say bye to bureaucracy. It is unthinkable how much this new law is going to benefit to thousands of people who did have not access to loans to study, buy a house or whatever because they has criminal records. They couldn’t get a job because of these records. It has been estimated that about 218.000 people will benefit from this new legal reform.
A study made in 2016 by the ACLU and Drug Policy Alliance, realized that white people consumed as much marijuana as black people and less than latinos. However, in the year 2010, for instance, black people were arrested almost four times more than white for small crimes related with marijuana small crimes.
California is helping those cannabis users with records to continue with their lives. In 2016, California legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over and allowed the users with criminal records to request to have their records erased.
However, the process was too long and difficult. It was the convicted who had to ask the court to reduce the sentence for prior convictions, back when cannabis wasn’t legal.
But the process was expensive and difficult to understand for common people who finally had to hire a lawyer because they couldn’t understand the legal jargon. It was a nightmare for them.
The situation was inaccessible for too many users. However, the new law makes everything much easier.
With this new law, the state itself will clean up people’s records. Some people will be able to completely get rid of their record, and others will see their sentences reduced. Possessing weed for selling will now become a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
It all will change in Jan. 1, 2019. From that date, the Department of Justice will have seven months to review all the cases related to marijuana and send petitions to county district attorneys.
The change of mentality toward legal marijuana has grown like crazy over the last 20 years in the USA. In 2000 only 31 percent of adults thought it should be legal. Now, that number is 61 percent.
Last January, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. This fall, Utah and Missouri will vote on medical marijuana, while North Dakota and Michigan vote on recreational use.
This new change of mentality seems to be unstoppable.