Legalization Opens Prison Doors for Those in Trouble for Marijuana Offenses

ballot marijuana legalization

Proposition 64 on the ballot [Photo provided by a reader]

When Proposition 64 passed, prison doors began opening for those inside for marijuana offenses. Those charged with cannabis related crimes now may never sit behind bars. An article today in the San Francisco Chronicle online delves into the post Prop. 64 world.

According to the article,

California judges are now setting free scores of people whose pending cases are no longer cases at all. Thousands more in jail or prison, or on probation or parole, are beginning to petition to reduce their sentences. And potentially tens of thousands of citizens with a rap sheet for pot can clear their names.

Check out the article here. And check out the forms that can be filed to reduce or remove a marijuana related crime.



  • I do not use marijuana, never been high a day in my life. I do not use tobacco either. I tell my children why I would like them not to use either substance. With that said, IT’S ABOUT TIME PEOPLE ARE NOT PUT IN JAIL FOR THEIR PERSONAL CHOICES REGARDING MARIJUANA!!! I wish everyone peace and happiness! Good luck to those clearing their names, and may your future be bright! 🙂

  • That’s awsome! I think as long as their non violent and no other narcotics involved let them free some space up for perverts and other violent criminals!

  • The problem was created to profit out of it. What nice article, is almost like I told that all ready. The problem is the that Congress,the Senate approving funding for a Regan loss war on drugs. Now that the Republicans control all the funding to open more jails to put more casualties of the Regan loss war in jail. The game just beginning. Legalization interfere with the billions of dollars in funding that will be transferred to the DEA, FDA,…. To pay to maintain Marijuana on Schedule 1 because without , marijuana there is no need for the funding or any of the thousands of unnecessary agent use to put pot smoker in jail. If half of the resources waist on the Regan loss war on marijuana we’re use in public schools to educate the new generations. There have been a increase in population and a decrease in educational funding when compared to the increase in funding to law enforcement (Marijuana). Well, that is not important after all legalization will never happen under Republican control, is to much money to be distributed between they and the correctional system. Is the justice department that make the transaction legal. How? By arresting, prosecution and incarceration of pot smokers. Never mind that use of marijuana has go unchanged after legalization in all those states, teens are not using recreational or medical illegal, they are using the same because there is no control in the black market. Interesting legalization undercut the black market making unprofitable making money, making unnecessary to fund the Regan loss war on drugs. Cut the funding to this agencies to get legalization a chance.

  • As long as their small time,not violent and never been in trouble before!!let’s all hope for the best.

    • Kim, I would love to read a story about someone getting out of prison early because of prop 64. Im thankful for all the time you put into this blog.

      • I’m trying to imagine the situation where a person would be in prison for a marijuana crime that is no longer a crime. What would that be? Straight possession?

        • You do realize this guy is doing federal time.

          • Yes, and I haven’t followed through on this article myself to find out how accurate it is but this is what it says,

            “Under Prop 64, most marijuana felonies in the state of California will become misdemeanors, and that applies retroactively. This means state marijuana prisoners get an immediate chance at release. But even beyond state prisoners, this law will also help some federal prisoners.

            One such inmate is Corvain Cooper, 37, serving a sentence of life without parole (LWOP) for a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy. Two California state priors for marijuana helped prosecutors win that harsh sentence in federal court. However, if Prop 64 passes, Corvain’s prior felonies would become misdemeanors, and he would no longer qualify for a life sentence.”

            So he wouldn’t be released immediately but he would have a chance of getting out sooner.

            • Kym ,
              check section 11 ,feds still have the trump card …( : a decisive overriding factor or final resource —called also trump card.)


              Prop 64- CRIMINAL OFFENSES – SECTION 8

              Current marijuana laws (Health and Safety Code 11357-111360) are rewritten with a new penalty structure. In all cases, offenders under 18 are not liable to criminal punishment, but to drug education and community service.

              POSSESSION (HSC 11357): Illegal possession of an ounce by persons 18- 21 continues to be a $100 infraction. Illegal possession of more than an ounce by adults continues to be a misdemeanor, punishable by $500 and/or six months in jail. Possession of less than an ounce upon a school ground during school hours by a person over 18 is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250, or $500 plus 10 days in jail for repeat offenses. In the case of concentrated cannabis, Section 11357 makes possession of more than four grams an infraction; however eight grams are authorized under Section 11362.1(a)2. According to AUMA’s authors, their intent was to allow eight grams; hopefully this will be affirmed by the courts.

              CULTIVATION (HSC 11358): Illegal cultivation of six plants or less by minors 18-21 is a $100 infraction. Illegal cultivation of more than six plants is a misdemeanor punishable by $500 and/or 6 months. The current mandatory felony penalty for cultivation is eliminated, but felonies may be charged in the case of repeat offenders, persons with violent or serious priors, and various environmental offenses.

              POSSESSION FOR SALE (HSC 11359): Penalties are dropped from current mandatory felonies to misdemeanors ($500 and/or 6 months). Felony enhancements allowed for repeat offenders, serious or violent priors, and sale to minors under 18.

              TRANSPORTATION, IMPORTATION, SALE OR GIFT (11360): Penalties are dropped from current mandatory felony to misdemeanors ($500 and/or 6 months). Felony enhancements allowed for importing, exporting, or transporting for sale more than 1 ounce of marijuana or 4 grams of concentrate.

              RELIEF FOR PRIOR OFFENDERS: Persons previously convicted of offenses that would not be a crime or would be a lesser offense under AUMA may petition the court for a recall or dismissal of their sentence. The court shall presume the petiioner is eligible unless the state provides clear and convincing evidence to the contrary (11361.8).

              The initiative enables legal production of industrial hemp under California’s existing hemp law, which has been in suspense pending approval by the state Attorney General and federal government.

              AMENDMENT: SECTION 10
              The legislature may by a 50% majority vote (1) reduce any penalties in the act, (2) add protections for employees of licensees, or (3) amend Section 5 (Medical Use) or Section 6 (Regulation and Safety) consistent with the intent and purposes of the act. A 2/3 vote is required for other amendments, consistent with the intent and purposes.

              No provision of this act shall be construed in a manner to create a positive conflict with federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act.

              SEVERABILITY: SECTION 12
              If any provision of this act is ruled invalid or unconstitutional, remaining provisions of the act remain in full force and effect.

  • 50 years later than the time we dreamed that everyone would tune in, turn on and drop out, I no longer use this substance or any other mind altering chemicals. Since I now feel that pot is ultimately harmful and a definite gateway drug, I hope people will evolve beyond the need to be intoxicated all the time. I do not expect this to happen in the next 50 years, but I am encouraged to see the government getting more and more removed from personal conduct and behavioral issues, and I am happy to see the end of the wasting of public funds on prosecuting individuals for the possession and cultivation of certain species of flowering plants.

    • There is no evidence that cannabis is a gateway drug. Lying to kids about cannabis did cause some to suspect that they were lying about other drugs as well. THis is something that the founder of the DARE program regrets.

      “I hope people will evolve beyond the need to be intoxicated all the time.”
      Good news, we have.

  • If one was hit with transportation of 3.5 lbs back in 2008, received a felony but went through the prob 36 hoops to be somewhat cleared of it. How do you get things reduced farther now that prop 64 passed. Main reason is I would like my second amendment rights back. Never had any other conviction for anything other than traffic tickets besides that. If anybody knows, advice would be helpful. Thanks.

  • The link to the forms didn’t work for me, just fyi

  • Potheads aren’t criminals, they’re only guilty of loving their weed, They’re just as guilty as beer drinkers who love their brewskies. Now we need to change the laws regarding employers testing for weed, unless they’re also testing for beer or booze use.

  • I believe a hair test can show past alcohol abuse just as a pee test can show 420 in the past. But hair is much more accurate. Let’s see how many alcohol junkies we have who get plastered drunk on the weekends. Makes about as much sense as testing for past weed use does. Not being high on the job should be all that matters.

  • How would Prop 64 affect the recent case of beloved local Redway ‘man about town’ Richard Franciskovich? Anyone know?
    It was heartening to read all the concern for him when he was busted (with what turned out to be a few pounds of TRIM, headed for medical patient use). He’s the KIND of person I’d like to see helped by this!

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    I really hope California won’t open the jail houses for terrorists involved in devil’s lettuce and the spreading of community destruction.

    If anything, the time is now to deploy the military while the terrorists have their guard down.

    The war on drugs was never really fought and terrorist growers have dug in, gathered weapons, and could take hostages.

    Sending Marines into the Emerald Counties can end terrorism via devil’s lettuce, by capturing them, giving them a trial, and making them understand that terrorism isn’t acceptable in society.

  • There are a few dead young women in Fortuna who would probably argue the entire “pot” doesn’t kill belief yall have.

    Making it legal doesn’t make it moral. Saying it doesn’t kill doesn’t mean it doesn’t.

  • It’s a nice idea…but without $5000 for a lawyer, no one is getting anything expunged

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