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Santa Clara County courts poised to wipe out 11,500 marijuana convictions

Original post made on Apr 27, 2020

Over 11,500 marijuana convictions in the county will be reduced or expunged on Wednesday as part of a mass-scale effort to dismiss drug violations now legal under state recreational marijuana laws.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 24, 2020, 3:35 PM

Comments (2)

2 people like this
Posted by Unequal treatment under the law
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Please do not forget to try to help people who may have been convicted under federal law or convicted under federal jurisdiction by assimilated state statutes. Anyone who falls under federal jurisdiction will not get this advantage and any person thus looking at their record will not know the difference, they'll just assume that person couldn't possibly have only committed something minor or their offense would have been wiped like everyone else's.

There is this huge area of civil rights unfairnesses related to federal jurisdiction, where the federal government has failed to create rules to fill in for a whole vacuum of necessary rules and protections. In some arenas, the feds have let corporations push the interpretation (insurance) that this means the Congress intended to deny people those rights, as in, deny them the protection of being able to sue their insurers for bad faith, etc.

But if you look at the totality of the situation, it becomes clear that when people face unfairnesses because of federal jurisdiction, they are usually simply made helpless because Congress has been derelict in making equivalent rules to states or allowing for assimilation of state rules. The reason I bring this up is that usually there are no lawyers to help, and no one willing to enforce rules by which people would otherwise defend themselves.

If you got a ticket for a minor traffic infraction on Ames today, they would put you through an outsized, odious process where you have to appear physically in federal court (nearest in SJ or SF) to defend yourself, and you have to right to get any discovery, no clear rules, no lawyers who practice that area of law, you are simply told you have to go to the federal courthouse and then all will be made known to you as to what you are supposed to do next. Probably pay money to avoid having your life upended because there are no clear rules by which you can defend yourself. Imagine you are a young mother from a foreign country charged of some traffic infraction and you can't NOT defend yourself if you've done nothing, for fear of consequences to your visa, being told to appear in federal court, with a pandemic raging. There is absolutely no sense, as above, of NOT turning anything unnecessarily into, literally, a federal case.

So, while I support not wiping out records that included such things as child endangerment, I just wanted to alert those trying to create justice that this almost certainly leaves out anyone who was convicted under federal jurisdiction, for example, a hypothetical family member of active military on Ames who may have smoked a joint -- there are no equivalent federal lawyers trying to help in such cases.

The reality is that there are a whole host of areas, such as minor traffic infractions on federal bases and other federal land, that constitute a vacuum or grey area when it comes to governing rules and especially the rights of citizens to defend themselves in relationship to being fined or imprisoned because of those rules.

2 people like this
Posted by COVID-Kid
a resident of Mountain View
on May 1, 2020 at 8:52 pm

Even before this became legal you simply got a ticket for possession. If they hauled you in it was probably for more than just personal use. I wonder how many dealers got let loose? Most pot dealers can easily get you something more stronger.

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