Old convictions for marijuana related offenses have an immense impact on our community, acting as barriers to employment, housing, and student loans. The rapid removal of those barriers not only helps individuals improve their lives, but also improves our community as a whole. Proposition 64 enabled citizens with old marijuana convictions to petition the court individually for a reduction or dismissal. However, processing individual petitions was slow, cumbersome, and drained resources of the court, the Probation Department, District Attorney and Public Defender. As a result, even several years after the passage of Proposition 64 far too few of the eligible individuals had obtained their entitled relief.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the Santa Clara Superior Court reduced or dismissed the records of over 11,500 marijuana convictions for more than 9,000 people, accomplishing in a single act something that would have taken many years and untold hours of court time as described above. This action allows affected individuals and our community to experience the full benefits of Proposition 64 without further delay. Accordingly, almost all prior Santa Clara County felony marijuana convictions under Health and Safety Code section 11358 (cultivation), 11359 (possession for sale) and 11360 (transportation or sale) have been reduced to misdemeanors, and almost all other misdemeanor marijuana convictions under Health and Safety Code section 11357 (possession) and 11360 (transportation) have been dismissed and expunged. These reductions, dismissals, and expungements are made pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11361.9, and will be reflected in all official Santa Clara County Court and Department of Justice records.
The Public Defender is proud of the collaboration between our Court and the many county agencies necessary to make this possible. We also want to acknowledge the leadership of California Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Ash Kalra on this issue. Government works best when it works for the people. This act ensures that all citizens benefit equally from the law.
How can I confirm that my prior marijuana conviction has been reduced or dismissed?
If you have been convicted of a marijuana charge in the past and want to confirm that your conviction has been reduced or dismissed and expunged, please call your original attorney or the Santa Clara County Public Defender Proposition 64 Information Line at 408-299-7347. If you reach our voicemail, please leave your full name, the docket number and approximate month and year of each conviction, and PFN if known. We will return your call as soon as possible.