San Jose State student group wants cannabis-related convictions erased

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Following California's legalization of recreational marijuana more than two years ago, the San Francisco District Attorney's office recently announced it would be wiping out more than 9,000 cannabis-related convictions.

That left some groups wondering how long it would take for other localities to follow suit.

At the Santa Clara County administration building this afternoon, members of the San Jose State University group Students Against Mass Incarceration stopped by the weekly farmer's market to talk about marijuana-related convictions.

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"It's a matter of getting those people opportunities, and getting them in order to be successful," Elizabeth Ramirez Moreno said.

"We could be so far down the road," Rev. Jethroe Moore added. "Instead of still back up here talking about we're going to do it."

California voters approved Proposition 64, legalizing marijuana back in November of 2016. Assembly Bill 1793, signed into law last year by former Governor Jerry Brown, directed the Department of Justice to work with District Attorneys statewide to expunge eligible marijuana-related convictions by July of 2020.

San Francisco recently announced it had completed its review earlier than anticipated, leaving some to wonder why localities like Santa Clara County hadn't done the same.

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"We are your brothers, your sisters, your mothers, your fathers. We are veterans, who have been criminalized during the war on drugs. Again, cannabis is legal now, but it wasn't always in the past," Daniel Montero of San Jose Cannabis Equity said.

It turns out San Francisco was chosen to be a part of a "Code for America" pilot program, which offered new technology to review the cases.

Santa Clara County had expressed interest in joining but ultimately wasn't chosen.

Santa Clara County Assistant DA David Angel says they expect to receive a list of eligible cases from the Department of Justice this summer, and that it expects thousands of cases to be eligible.
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