Cannabis is legal in more than half the states in the United States. In 10 states, it is legal for recreational purposes for adults over the age of 21. With legalization comes many questions. One of the questions on many people’s mind is what about the individuals that still have charges on their record or are facing charges for crimes that are now entirely legal? One organization by the name of Code for America, which is a non-partisan pilot program, is hoping to address this very issue.
Sacramento County is Making Progress
Sacramento County has teamed up with the program to dismiss almost 2,000 cannabis-related convictions and to reduce more than 3,300 felonies to misdemeanors charges according to a press release that was issued in late April. The program is hoping to eradicate or minimize 250,000 cannabis convictions across the United States before the end of this year.
Aside from Sacramento County, four other counties in California have partnered with Code for America to dismiss or reduce criminal charges for cannabis-related offenses that are now legal under Proposition 64. The program offered by Code for America scours County records looking for charges and convictions that may be eligible for reduction or eradication under new laws. In addition to individuals who were facing or had criminal charges for cannabis offenses that were reduced or dismissed Sacramento County went a little bit further.
Taking it a Step Further
The District Attorney for Sacramento County Anne Marie Schubert also agreed to dismiss any criminal charges for individuals that had no other convictions on their record and had successfully completed court assigned probation. She also dismissed any convictions where the charged individual had not committed any other crimes over the past 10 years.
She also agreed to dismiss all convictions where the offender had incurred an infraction or misdemeanor as an adult while under the age of 21. According to Media reports, a total of 1,919 convictions were dismissed in total. Additionally, 3,384 convictions were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. The result of this was 603 individuals having their criminal record wholly eradicated. This is a substantial success in helping to further right the wrongs of prohibition.