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Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act)


Proposition 64, also known as “Prop 64” or the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” is a significant ballot initiative approved by the residents of California in November 2016. This legislation has three important implications in terms of criminal law:

Legalization of possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for individuals aged 21 and above.
Legalization of marijuana sales by licensed businesses.
Provision for those convicted of marijuana-related charges to seek dismissal or reduction of their convictions, based on the nature of the offense.

For more detailed information about Proposition 64, you can refer to the official ballot information available here. This initiative is a crucial milestone with wide-ranging implications for the state of California.


As of now, possession of a small amount of marijuana or hashish (HS § 11357) and cultivation of marijuana (HS § 11358) are no longer considered misdemeanors. However, this only applies if you are at least 21 years old and not cultivating more than six plants (HS § 11368). If you are under 21 years old, violations of HS § 11357 and HS § 11358 are treated as infractions, requiring you to pay a fine.

Furthermore, cultivation of more than six marijuana plants (HS § 11358(c)), possession with intent to sell (HS § 11359), and transportation of marijuana (HS § 11360) are typically classified as misdemeanors. For a comprehensive understanding of the exceptions to this rule, please refer to the section below.

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No.  Under Proposition 64, a violation of HS § 11358 (cultivation of more than six plants of marijuana), HS § 11359 (possession of marijuana for sale), or HS § 11360 (transportation of marijuana for sale) is punished as a felony – and makes you ineligible to have the sentenced to a misdemeanor if you were convicted before Proposition 64 was approved –  if any of the following applies to you:

  1. Your criminal record includes a conviction for a “super strike” offense or for an offense that required you to register as a sex offender.
  2. You received two convictions for a violation of HS § 11358, HS § 11359, or HS § 11360, respectively.
  3. You sold, or attempted to sell, marijuana to an individual whom you knew was a minor, or your cultivation of marijuana resulted in a violation of certain environmental regulations.


If you were convicted for a previously criminal act (e.g., a conviction for HS § 11357) that is no longer considered a crime, you have the opportunity to deny the arrest and conviction once it is dismissed. Additionally, no government agency can deprive you of any opportunity that was previously withheld due to that arrest or conviction.

Similarly, if you were convicted for a felony that has since been downgraded to a misdemeanor (e.g., a conviction for HS § 11359) and you meet the requirements for resentencing, your sentence will be reduced accordingly. This change reclassifies the crime as a misdemeanor for all purposes, including the restoration of your right to possess a firearm, provided that you do not have any felony or disqualifying misdemeanor convictions, such as those related to domestic violence.


Depending on the county where the conviction was received, Proposition 64 requires California’s Department of Justice to notify local District Attorney’s Offices about eligible cases for sentence dismissal or resentencing. However, it’s important to note that not all District Attorney’s Offices have the necessary resources to handle their daily workload and review past marijuana convictions. For instance, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office partnered with Code for America, a not-for-profit organization, to process the dismissal of approximately 60,000 marijuana convictions. The press release, however, does not specify the timeline for reducing felony charges, such as possession of marijuana for sale (HS § 11359), to misdemeanors for eligible individuals.


Clearing your criminal record from past marijuana convictions can open doors to new opportunities and provide peace of mind. Whether it’s enhancing job prospects, securing professional licensing, or simply moving forward without the burden of a criminal record, taking steps to address old marijuana convictions or arrests is a positive move toward a brighter future.

At Inland Empire Defense, we specialize in assisting individuals in clearing their criminal records, particularly those related to marijuana convictions. Our knowledgeable attorneys understand the nuances of California’s laws regarding marijuana offenses and are equipped with the experience and expertise to guide you through the process of applying for dismissal or reduction of your conviction.

Located in Ontario, our team is ready to help you navigate the legal system and work towards clearing your record. Don’t let past mistakes hold you back any longer. Contact the attorneys at Inland Empire Defense at (909) 939-7126 to discuss your case and learn how we can assist you in improving your future. Take the first step towards a cleaner record and the numerous benefits it can bring.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Does the attorney offer confidential consultations?

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Does the attorney offer payment plans?

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Is the consultation free?

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Are the consultations in person or only over the phone?

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Is the office open on weekends?

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Does the attorney serve all of California?

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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