How Does Prop 64 Change California's Marijuana Laws?


While the results of the November 8th election have created considerable division among American voters to say the least, Californians have reason to celebrate due to the landslide passing of Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). Now, the existing legislation legalizing medical marijuana has been expanded to decriminalize the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis for personal use by adults age 21 and older.

While the law will free many individuals from the criminal consequences of marijuana use and implement a taxation system which will potentially bring millions in revenue for the state, there are still numerous marijuana-related activities which are still strictly prohibited.

Even under AUMA, it will still be illegal to:

  • Operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana
  • Sell or give marijuana to minors under age 21
  • Sell marijuana without a state license
  • Possess more than 28.5 grams of cannabis
  • Use marijuana in public unless allowed by local ordinances
  • Use marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school

Expunging Marijuana Convictions Under Prop 64

While the decriminalization of marijuana is a major legislative feat in and of itself, arguably a greater effect of AUMA is that many individuals with various marijuana-related convictions are now eligible to either reduce or eliminate them completely through expungement. Prop 64 authorizes courts to resentence individuals who are currently serving a sentence for offenses for which the penalty is reduced by the act, as well as redesignate or dismiss offenses from the criminal records of persons who have completed their sentences.

Offenses which have been legalized under the act are eligible for full expungement, such as:

  • Possessing, processing, purchasing, or transporting up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis
  • Possessing, planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying, or processing six or fewer marijuana plants
  • Smoking or ingesting marijuana products
  • Possessing, transporting, purchasing, obtaining, using, manufacturing, or giving marijuana accessories to another adult

First-offense felony possession convictions for more than 28.5 grams or 4 grams of concentrated cannabis may now be reduced to misdemeanors, with many other minor offenses now being reduced to mere infractions. With that being said, these expunctions are not automatic and may be denied at a judge’s discretion, making it crucial for convicted individuals to retain powerful legal counsel to maximize their chances of securing a favorable outcome.

Clear Your Criminal Record Today – Call (888) 744-3057

If you are being held back by a previous marijuana crime or are currently serving a sentence for a marijuana-related offense, contact the skilled Fairfield criminal defense lawyers at The Maher Law Group, APC today. Having been included on the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 list and earned numerous 5-star client testimonials for our aggressive advocacy, our team can provide the non-judgmental and results-driven counsel you need to put your past behind you and pursue a new beginning.

Contact our office online today to get started towards pursuing an expungement.

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