Jay Schlauch’s conviction for peddling pot haunted him for nearly a quarter century. The felony prevented him from landing jobs, gave his wife doubts about tying the knot and cast a shadow over his typically sunny outlook on life.
So when an opportunity arose to reduce his record to a misdemeanor under the voter-approved law that legalized recreational marijuana last year, Schlauch wasted little time getting to court.
“Why should I be lumped in with, you know, murderers and rapists and people who really deserve to get a felony?” he asked.
This lesser-known provision of Proposition 64 allows some convicts to wipe their rap sheets clean and offers hope for people with past convictions who are seeking work or loans. Past crimes can also pose a deportation threat for some convicts.
It’s hard to say how many people have benefited, but more than 2,500 requests were filed to reduce convictions or sentences, according to partial state figures reported through March. The figures do not yet include data from more than half of counties from the first quarter of the year.
While the state does not tally the outcomes of those requests, prosecutors said they have not fought most petitions. [Read more at NBC Los Angeles]