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How Does the New California Marijuana Law Affect Previous Drug Charges?

Having a criminal record can seriously hamper your chances in life, whether we are talking about employment, housing, or getting loans from banks. More often than not, people will be unwilling to enter agreements with you.

However, what happens if you have a criminal record doing something which is now legal? What happens to your record? It seems rather unfair that you would end up chastised for the same thing people are now openly doing and receiving no punishment or even a sideways glance.

If you have a criminal record for marijuana possession in California, you might just be in such a position. The recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in the state at the start of 2018, effectively removing the possession of marijuana from the criminal code in California.

However, what about the people who have previously been convicted of marijuana possession and are now in a strange position? Well, according to experts at Monder Criminal Lawyer Group, there is hope for these people thanks to less known provisions of the new law.

What Was the Punishment for Marijuana Possession Previously?

The possession of marijuana for personal use, that is to say, small quantities of about 28 grams of the substance used to be a misdemeanor in California and it used to be the most common marijuana related charge in California.

However, if you were caught with an amount of the drug which exceeds the 28 gram limit, you were liable to be accused of possession with the intent to sell, which is a more serious crime. This offense used to be a felony and carried some serious punishments with it.

Are All Marijuana Related Crimes Deleted?

Even though marijuana is decriminalized, it is still a controlled substance. That means that only people with proper licenses and certifications from the state government can sell it.

If you are caught selling marijuana without a proper permit, you are still breaking the law and will be prosecuted by the appropriate authorities.

What about Retroactive Application of the Law?

Many states have relaxed their prosecution of marijuana charges, either reducing them to misdemeanors or allowing them to be expunged altogether. To learn more about expungement, you can consult this link However, California is one of just 6 states which have completely legalized cannabis, and that brings a lot more opportunities for people to clear their records.

Even people who were accused of serious felonies related to marijuana can have their records cleared, or at least dramatically reduced. This is expected to have a positive effect on people on several fronts. First of all, they should be able to get normal jobs without the criminal record holding them back.

Has It Worked?

The California police have made a staggering half a million of arrests related to marijuana charges in the last ten years. This huge number of people are now eligible for some form of reduction or expungement of marijuana related charges.

Even before the law itself actually was enacted, thousands of people had already filed for this option and have had their records cleared or their sentences reduced.

How Does It Work?

If you want to have your marijuana charge dropped, you need to present your case to the court where the prosecutor of your original case can object to your appeal or let it go through, just like with any other case.

Having your prior marijuana charge thrown out can help you a lot in your life, so make sure you take this opportunity. Consult a good drug attorney who can help you talk your way through the complex legal system of California.


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