Perspective on marijuana has changed enormously in the past two decades, especially with legalization of medical marijuana and now the emergence of legalized recreational marijuana, with clean-cut dispensaries and ‘budtenders’ ready to take your order if you are over 21. There is now of course a huge disparity between individuals casually shopping for weed in a retail atmosphere, and others who may have been behind bars for many years or who have a criminal record due to a previous charge.
Expungement of records pertaining to marijuana is a big topic today, and one that leads to many questions—more pertinent with the passing of Assembly Bill 1793, making it much easier to have records reduced or wiped away permanently; in fact, as recent news states, in some cases you may not even have to approach the court yourself, as the Department of Justice is now handed the task of reviewing records in California themselves and noting which convictions should be dismissed or re-designated. This process is supposed to be complete by July 1, 2019.
“This is transformative,” said Rodney Holcombe of the Drug Policy Alliance, a national organization that advocates for human rights-driven drug policies. “This creates an opportunity for people to reclaim their lives.”
Many have suffered under harsh laws—but will see some of that pain and suffering reversed now. California joins other states in legalizing recreational marijuana such as Colorado and Washington, the forerunners, and more, with their residents also looking forward to expungement. Individuals currently incarcerated over marijuana charges will be given higher priority in examination of records.
Just because the medical and recreational laws have changed surrounding marijuana, however, doesn’t mean that you may not find yourself in hot water if you have too many plants or are caught distributing it illegally. Traveling to other states and expecting to enjoy the same latitude you do in California could be a big mistake too—especially if you are in a bordering state where they are now more suspicious of Californians who may be in possession of what is an illegal substance in their state. Be aware also that driving under the influence of weed is dangerous and prone to the same consequences as driving while intoxicated.
If you need legal assistance with a criminal matter, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws including white collar crimes, DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault charges, and violent & serious felonies. At the Dolan Law Offices, we provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.