When California voters legalized recreational marijuana in November 2016, they also passed a measure which permits people with cannabis offenses to either clear their records completely or downgrade their offenses. The measure, in theory, stands to benefit hundreds of thousands in the state, but few have taken advantage of it because, up until now, the process has been confusing and often expensive.
Now, a new technology designed to automatically expunge cannabis records may change that. The initiative—called the Clear My Record program—is being led by Code for America, a non-profit organization that harnesses modern technology to make the relationship between the government and the public more easy to navigate. It aims to clear 250,000 cannabis convictions in California by the year 2019.
The organization recently announced that they’re teaming up with the San Francisco District Attorney’s office to automatically expunge cannabis records in the city. Perhaps most importantly, this means that these cannabis records will no longer be seen by prospective employers who might discriminate or even be accessible through a criminal background check.