Marijuana convictions go up in smoke with California legalization

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thousands of pot convictions in California are going up in smoke - thanks to the state's new marijuana law.

Since California legalized recreational pot, thousands of people convicted of marijuana crimes have asked to get their records reduced.

A lesser-known provision of Proposition 64 allows some felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors and some criminal records to be wiped clean.

MORE: Marijuana in California: What's legal, what isn't now?

Partial numbers released last week show more than 2,500 reduction requests were filed through March.

The state does not record outcomes, but prosecutors say they haven't fought most petitions. The figures do not yet include data from more than half of counties from the first quarter of the year.

The change has also led to freedom for some criminals in prison.

Marijuana legalization advocates, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, have held free legal clinics to help convicts get their records changed. Lawyers who specialize in pot defense have noted a steady flow of interest from new and former clients.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.