Yolo County Making Progress to Clear Cannabis-Related Convictions

ABC 10 News reported that a partnership established by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has resulted in 728 cleared cannabis-related convictions so far. With tens of thousands of Californians waiting to get their marijuana convictions dismissed and sealed from their records, this partnership is allowing the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to buzz through these dismissals and record sealing.

California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016. This regulates the possession, personal utilization, cultivation, and sale of cannabis products throughout the state of California for those 21 years of age or older, or with a qualifying medical condition.

Even though the proposition ordered the state’s Department of Justice to identify every conviction that qualifies for a lessened punishment before July 1, 2019, there are still tens of thousands of Californians awaiting to wipe their felony marijuana-related convictions from their records. However, with new tech and efforts from the DA’s office, the county is way ahead of others working to clear and expunge records.

Around four years ago, Yolo County partnered with the Public Defender’s Office and Code For America, a non-profit. This allowed them to rapidly find those who have these convictions on their record.

Through this process, anyone looking to clear their records wasn’t forced to file a motion, nor were they required to appear in court. Once identified, those who qualify for the dismissal and sealing of their records got their records expunged.

“Marijuana convictions should no longer be a barrier to people’s ability to seek employment or housing or negatively impact their lives any further,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig explained in a statement. “My office and the Public Defender are dedicated to finding ways to use technology to advance smart criminal justice reform and increase efficiencies.”

As the first county in California to partner with this revolutionary tech, Yolo County is setting a new standard for rapid record expungement. Other agencies in other counties are now following suit, partnering with the Code for America Program to hasten the clearing of convictions in their own jurisdictions.

So far, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has cleared 720 convictions with the help of this program. For anyone who is a resident in this county that is supposed to receive relief under Proposition 64, make sure to visit the Public Defender’s Office’s “Clear My Record” website.

Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He's passionate about helping cannabis businesses use content to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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