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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

DA Ravitch Issues Revised Policy Regarding Dismissal of Cannabis-Related Criminal Convictions

Santa Rosa, CA  –  March 6, 2018  –  On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. The Act legalizes the adult use of Cannabis and establishes regulations that will control and oversee the Cannabis industry. The act also establishes protocols for redesignating, dismissing and sealing convictions for Health & Safety Code sections 11357, 11358, 11359, and 11360. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office immediately implemented a process to assist those affected by this change with reducing, dismissing, and sealing their prior marijuana convictions. As a result of this process, dozens of convictions have been reduced and dismissed.

Nevertheless, according to current assessments, there remain upwards of 3,000 prior convictions that have not yet been acted upon. As a result, District Attorney Ravitch has directed her office to begin proactively searching for such cases, and where appropriate, to unilaterally initiate reduction and/or expungement proceedings. Under the revised policy, DA Ravitch has assigned a Deputy District Attorney from her narcotics unit to work on processing these petitions.

District Attorney Ravitch noted, “With Proposition 64 California voters clearly indicated their intent to offer people convicted of cannabis related offenses to have their records cleared. Further, the state legislature is currently contemplating legislation that would pave the way for the automatic expungement or reduction of cannabis related convictions. Therefore, my goal is to do whatever I can within the resources at my disposal to be consistent with this intent. As a result, my office has actively started to search for and review prior cannabis-related convictions that are eligible. We will also continue to work with individuals and attorneys to process their applications in a timely manner.”

Local cannabis consultant 421 Group President Craig Litwin noted, “[We] will do our part to help the District Attorney actively expunge cannabis convictions in order that the process be faster for citizens and less expensive for the county.”

Local attorney Omar Figueroa also noted, “As a lawyer helping clients navigate complex cannabis issues, my office looks forward to working in conjunction with District Attorney Jill Ravitch to get the word out about this progressive policy.”

If you believe you, or someone you know, may be eligible to have a cannabis related conviction reduced, dismissed, and sealed, please visit our Proposition 64 web page at http://da.sonoma-county.org/content.aspx?sid=1023&id=3385or email us at Prop64@sonoma-county.orgto initiate the process of review. Staff from the DA’s Office will contact you.

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Contact Information

Joe Langenbahn
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
Address
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273