On Nov. 8, residents of California will vote on Proposition 64. If passed, the measure will allow people in the state to purchase, carry and give away up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Prop 64 will also allow Californians to grow six marijuana plants in their home and carry as much as 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.
While many marijuana enthusiasts are excited about the prospect of legal recreational pot use, Prop 64 will have implications for the criminal justice system as well. People who have been arrested for marijuana crimes in the past and those who are currently in prison on pot charges could have their sentences reduced and their convictions overturned. Last year, over a half-million people in the United States were arrested for marijuana possession.
If Prop 64 passes, certain drug offenses will become legal actions at the state level, and the maximum sentences for other drug offenses will be reduced. The measure will allow people who have been convicted for drug offenses to have their criminal records retroactively destroyed. Other individuals serving time for marijuana-related offenses will be able to have their cases resentenced according to the new sentencing guidelines.
With pot laws changing around the country, a person who is charged with marijuana possession may have a better chance of receiving leniency. A criminal defense attorney may be able to advocate for a defendant in court and argue that the defendant's legal missteps were very minor. If Prop 64 passes, a California attorney might be able to help an individual file a petition to have their marijuana possession conviction overturned.