Lawmakers in the House and Senate have voted in favor of legislation, Senate Bill 420, to facilitate the expungement of past marijuana convictions. Following a concurrence vote by the Senate, the measure will advance to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown – who is anticipated to sign the bill into law.
The measure establishes procedures for persons previously found guilty of low-level (up to one ounce) marijuana possession offenses to file a motion with the court to have their convictions set aside. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within 30 days. The proposal expands upon prior legislation, enacted in 2015, which sought to make it easier for those with past marijuana convictions to have their records expunged.
Once signed, the new law takes effect on January 1, 2019.
The policy is similar to marijuana-related expungement laws recently enacted in a number of states, including Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington. California law automatically expunges past marijuana convictions.