DA Dismisses Pot Convictions

DA Dismisses Pot Convictions

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that her office has filed a motion with the San Diego Superior Court to reduce 25,000 marijuana convictions from felonies to misdemeanors and is dismissing another 1,000 misdemeanor convictions completely. The Court will review the requests and make the decision.

In California, all county District Attorney’s Offices are required by law to notify the Court and Public Defender of eligible cases by July 1, 2020, under AB 1793. The Department of Justice provided data in June of 2019, which the District Attorney’s Office has been reviewing.

Before lawmakers passed AB 1793 in 2018, the District Attorney’s Office was already actively reducing and dismissing eligible marijuana cases under Proposition 64. In addition, before Proposition 64 was voted into law, the DA’s Office was reviewing its internal Case Management System for cases with qualifying charges, which it sent to the Public Defender’s Office as soon as Proposition 64 became law. Since 2016, the DA’s Office has reduced or dismissed more than 1,600 marijuana-related convictions.

“We’ve been a leader in the state and pro-active on giving individuals with marijuana convictions the opportunity to move forward with their lives without a conviction that may have been negatively impacting their lives by restricting their employment or housing,” said DA Stephan. “This latest motion is the continuation of work that began more than two years ago. It’s clear that the law was written to allow this relief, and it’s important that we give full effect to the will of the people.”

The District Attorney’s Office has been working with San Diego Superior Court leadership and staff, and the Public Defender to accomplish this latest filing. “The Superior Court and Public Defender are critical to this voluminous project and we appreciate that they’ve made it a priority,” Stephan said.

Proposition 64 identifies three health and safety code sections that qualify for resentencing: cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana and sales and/or transporting marijuana, all of which are felonies. The law also includes dismissing possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

More information about defendants who may qualify for a reduction in their sentences and how to file a petition can be found on the San Diego County Public Defender’s website. For questions about whether a conviction has been reduced or dismissed, contact the Public Defender’s Office.