Proposition 64 Relief

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, which decriminalized adult recreational marijuana use and provided a path to the dismissal or reduction of hundreds of thousands of past marijuana-related convictions. Under District Attorney Diana Becton, Contra Costa was the second district attorney’s office in California to partner with Code for America to proactively review past marijuana-related criminal convictions without requiring people to petition the court for their own relief. According to Code for America, statewide only 3% of people eligible under Proposition 64 had petitioned the court on their own - which can be a time consuming, expensive, and confusing process. 

Before working with Code for America, reviewing convictions took copious amounts of time and resources. Now, with the aid of Code for America’s technology, convictions can be proactively reviewed, there is minimal use of government staff time and resources, and barriers to employment, housing, health, and education are removed or reduced for those with prior convictions. 

This proactive program removes the onus on any convicted person to file a motion with the court or gather the needed resources for expunging their record. A total of 2,399 people have received some type of relief through this partnership with Code for America. 

It is the position of the California Department of Justice and our Office that a conviction dismissed and sealed based on a finding of legal invalidity, pursuant of Health and Safety Code 11361.8(e), shall cease to exist for all purposes and shall no longer be cited as a "conviction" for any purpose. A conviction dismissed and sealed under Health and Safety Code 11361.8(e) may not be used as a basis to deny any access to any benefit, relief, program, or any application, nor may it be relied upon for the purpose of any subsequent criminal penalty. Convictions dismissed and sealed under 11361.8(e) are legally invalid.  

Our Office determined based on the proposition, that it was appropriate to dismiss and seal all marijuana-related felonies, misdemeanors and infractions on our own motion. In order to facilitate this process, we are utilizing a previous process established with the court under Proposition 47 in which:

  • If parties stipulation to the motion, there is no need to calendar the request
  • We can complete the emotion and file it with the court
  • The court will sign and process the motion, sending petitions for dismissal and any relevant information to state actors, without the need for any court appearance 

Such a system expedites the process and saves the court the time and resources involved in having to calendar cases, and ensures all entitled to the remedy receive it.

If you have questions about this process or if your case was impacted please email [email protected]

Proposition 64 Relief Data

  • 2,399 individuals obtain relief
  • 201,546 convictions were processed using Code for America’s technology in 3.8 seconds
  • 531 people will no longer have a felony conviction on their record
  • 31 people will no longer have any conviction on their record in the last 7 years
  • 316 people will no longer have any conviction on their record in CA
  • 3,264 convictions dismissed, 284 misdemeanors and 2,980 were felonies

Partnership Report with Code for America (PDF)

January 9 Press Release: DA’s Office & Code for America Announce 3,264 Marijuana Convictions Will Be Cleared