Yolo County District Attorney clears over 700 marijuana-related convictions

As part of a nationwide justice reform effort. the Yolo County District Attorney announced that his office has cleared 728 marijuana...

As part of a nationwide justice reform effort. the Yolo County District Attorney announced that his office has cleared 728 marijuana-related convictions. Today's announcement came from District Attorney Jeff Resig.

A joint project between the Yolo District Attorney’s Office and Code for America, Yolo County was the first in the state to use the “Clear My Record Application and Implementation Blueprint.”

By using the technology and step by step guide, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office was able to quickly identify individuals with marijuana-related convictions and petition the court to reduce, dismiss and seal marijuana convictions still remaining on an individual’s criminal history.

California voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016, which became effective on November 9, 2016. Proposition 64 legalized the responsible use of marijuana by adults 21 and it also allowed for the reduction or dismissal of certain marijuana-related behavior.

By moving to expunge all eligible marijuana-related convictions, Reisig went beyond the most basic relief provided by Proposition 64. The innovative approach, using the technology provided by Code for America, eliminated the need for those people previously convicted of marijuana-related convictions to file a motion and have to appear in court, thereby expediting the process. 

On August 21, 2019, Yolo County Presiding Superior Court Judge Samuel McAdam signed the order submitted by the District Attorney dismissing the convictions.

As a result of the 728 convictions that were dismissed on Reisig’s motion, 261 individuals who had a felony will no longer have a felony on their record. In addition, 156 individuals who had marijuana-related convictions will no longer have any conviction on their record.

“Marijuana convictions should no longer be a barrier to people’s ability to seek employment or housing or negatively impact their lives any further," Resig said. "My office is dedicated to finding ways to use technology to advance smart criminal justice reform and increase efficiencies within the system.”

With the legalization of marijuana, Reisig said the DA's office plans to focus his marijuana-related prosecutions on individuals who damage the environment through illegal marijuana cultivation and/or manufacturing activities. He will also pursue individuals who illegally possess weapons and/or place children at risk in connection with unlawful marijuana activity.

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