Sacramento County Considers Dismissing Past Marijuana Convictions

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SACRAMENTO -- San Francisco is taking an unprecedented step by completely dismissing most of its marijuana convictions, wiping criminal records clean for potentially thousands of people.

It's a moment Shelby Lucero says she'll never forget.

"I was in my jail cell," she said. "Just got my fresh orange clothing on. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I've only seen this from movies.'"

On the Fourth of July 2012, Lucero's holistic healing center was raided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office. She was charged with seven felonies, all marijuana related crimes, and spent 30 days in jail.

It began a five-year legal battle that abruptly ended last May as a result of Proposition 64, which decriminalized marijuana in California.

Lucero's seven felonies dropped to one citation.

"I walked away with an infraction and paid a $45 court fee," she said.

As of Wednesday, in San Francisco thousands of others like Lucero who have criminal marijuana convictions might soon be let off the hook.

The district attorney announced his office will dismiss all misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975 and begin reviewing felony marijuana charges to do the same.

"A lot of people aren't aware they have this opportunity to have their criminal records for marijuana use expunged," said Rhys Williams, the spokesman for Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom's Office.

Williams says decriminalizing pot is a racial and social justice issue. He says people of color are disproportionately prosecuted for marijuana crimes.

He applauds San Francisco for its action.

"It provides new hope and new opportunity for potentially millions of Californians," Williams said. "It's action yesterday to address those is a model for the rest of the state."

In Sacramento County 258 people have successfully cleared marijuana crimes from their records since Proposition 64 passed, but they've all petitioned for it themselves.

FOX40 asked a DA representative if Sacramento County might follow San francisco's lead and dismiss hundreds or thousands cases all at once.

"It's not something that we're opposed to," said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Gold. "But we're just going to have to see if, on a practical and legal method, that we could implement that."

In the meantime, if you want a marijuana crime expunged in Sacrameto County, the DA's office says ask and you'll likely receive.

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