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  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 20, 2018

    The District Attorney for Alameda County has announced her intent to automatically vacate thousands of past marijuana convictions. Alameda County, which includes Oakland, is the 7th-most populous county in California.

    According to the DA’s office, there are an estimated 6,000 marijuana convictions eligible for either a sentence reduction or a dismissal.

    “California is offering a second chance to people convicted of cannabis crimes, from felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Mally said in a press statement. “We … intend to reverse decades of cannabis convictions that can be a barrier for people to gain meaningful employment.”

    The policy change comes weeks after the San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced that it will review, dismiss, and seal an estimated 3,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

    Seattle officials have also announced a similar plan to dismiss past convictions, opining, “[T]his action is a necessary first step in righting the wrongs of the past and putting our progressive values into action.” Last week, newly elected Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also announced that his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession offense violations.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 8, 2018

    Following in the footsteps of San Francisco, Seattle city officials announced today that they will be vacating the criminal convictions of former marijuana offenders.

    Seattle’s mayor and city attorney plan to ask the courts to vacate all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions that were prosecuted before the plant was legalized in Washington state in 2012.

    Between the years 1986 and 2010, police in Washington made an estimated 240,000 marijuana possession arrests.

    Stated Mayor Jenny Durkan: “[T]his action is a necessary first step in righting the wrongs of the past and putting our progressive values into action. … Our action will affect people who had been convicted of offenses for conduct that is now legal under state law. People won’t have to take any actions like hiring a lawyer or going to a court hearing. … I hope these actions we’re taking here in Seattle can lay the foundation for other cities, counties and states to act, too.”

    Last week, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced that it will review, dismiss, and seal an estimated 3,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975. Legislation to enact a similar automatic expungement policy statewide is pending in the California Assembly.

    Legislation is also pending in Vermont to make it easier for those with past criminal marijuana convictions to petition the court for expungement. In Pennsylvania, legislation is anticipated to be introduced shortly to vacate previous marijuana convictions for patients who have enrolled in the state medical marijuana program.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director November 1, 2012


    In what is likely to be one of last polls coming out of Washington State prior to Election Day, Initiative 502 to regulate marijuana is still holding strong to the commanding lead it has developed over the past few months. Data released from King 5 and SurveyUSA has I-502 leading among likely Washington voters, 56% stated they would vote yes on the measure with only 37% planning to vote no. There are just 7% still undecided.

    This continues a several month trend of Washington’s I-502 leading in the polling data. A poll released last week by Strategies 360 had the marijuana initiative’s support leading opposition 54% to 38%. King5/SurveyUSA’s previous two polls from October and September had I-502 ahead at 55% to 36% and 57% to 34% respectively.

    With just a few days left until November 6th, it seems unlikely the opposition will be able to overcome such a significant gap, putting Washington State on track to be the first state to legalize adult use of marijuana. Though, that may depend on how quickly the votes can be counted. The latest polling out of Colorado had their legalization initiative, Amendment 64, leading 53% to 43%.

    Don’t become complacent because victory appears in sight! Check out NORML’s Smoke the Vote Guide to learn all about marijuana in the 2012 election. You can also read our “7 Simple Ways YOU Can Help Legalize Marijuana” and find some quick and easy ways you can help us sprint across the finish line. One of the most important things you can do with the remaining days is call voters in Colorado in support of Amendment 64 by using SSDP/NORML‘s online phone bank or JustSayNow‘s online program.

    We WILL legalize marijuana. Let’s start on November 6th.

    UPDATED:
    After publishing this story KCTS9 in Washington released another new Washington State poll. Adding credence to the King5 numbers, KCTS9 found that 55.8% of registered voters were supportive of I-502 with only 36.7% opposed. Those numbers held strong when looking at just likely voters as well, who support the marijuana regulation initiative by 55.4% to 37.6%.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 22, 2012


    Polling released today shows Washington’s I-502, which aims to regulate and tax marijuana use and sales by adults, is still tracking towards victory. With just 15 days left until Election Day, this poll shows the continued trend of support for Washington State’s marijuana initiative. This latest data, released by Strategies 360, has support for I-502 at 54% and opposition trailing at 38%.

    The key to the initiative’s success may be its support amongst typically lagging demographics, such as women and the over 55 crowd. Women are currently supporting I-502 by a 52% to 41% margin and voters over 55 years old support it by a 52% to 38% margin. The highest support group is likely voters who identify or lean Democrat, 72% of whom said they support I-502.

    If you live in Washington State there is still time to register. You can register in person to receive your ballot up until October 29th. To find out how, click here and check out the specifics for your current location and you can become a part of making Washington the first state to end marijuana prohibition. View the cross tabs and more data from this poll here.

    Learn more about marijuana in the 2012 election by reading NORML’s voter guide, Smoke the Vote.

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director August 18, 2012

    This Week in Weed

    Click here to subscribe to NORMLtv and receive alerts whenever new content is added.

    The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.

    This week: A new study confirms marijuana’s medical efficacy, NORML and the Women’s Alliance join the Peace Caravan, and Seattle Hempfest begins in Washington State.

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    Be sure to tune in to NORMLtv every week to catch up on the latest marijuana news. Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter to be notified as soon as new content is added.

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