Free Help for Californians Looking to Expunge Cannabis Convictions

(Tim Brown/iStock)

Trying to get rid of a past California cannabis conviction? The Drug Policy Alliance is hosting a free event in San Bernardino this weekend to help get you started.

The event—to be held Saturday, May 19, at the Akoma Unity Center—will provide participants with free copies of their criminal records, allowing them to begin the process of expunging eligible charges.

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“Accessing a copy of one’s criminal record is a small but often difficult step to complete before a person can clear or reduce past convictions,” Rodney Holcombe, a DPA staff attorney, said in a press release about the event. “The process can be confusing to navigate, and the associated costs are quite high.”

The Drug Policy Alliance will host a full legal clinic in San Bernardino on June 23.

Getting your criminal record, however, is only a first step. Individuals wishing to clear or reduce past convictions must then petition the court to request their records be changed. To help on that front, the Drug Policy Alliance will host a full legal clinic in San Bernardino on June 23.

Under Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis for adult use in California, individuals with past cannabis convictions can retroactively reduce or remove past convictions for cannabis-related activity that’s now legal or less severely punished. But in most parts of the state, the process doesn’t happen automatically.

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Thousands of people across the state are eligible to have convictions reduced or thrown out, but so far only a small fraction of those have seen relief.

Saturday’s event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Akoma Unity Center in San Bernardino. The address is 1367 N California St., San Bernardino, CA 92411.