California lawmakers passed a bill that could see hundreds of thousands of people get clean marijuana conviction slates. Others, who may have federal convictions could get their crime downgraded to a misdemeanour. The bill's awaiting signing off by the governor. However, people will have to wait for that, and it's not certain he will sign it off. But given the new attitudes to pot in the USA, the chances are good it will go through.

Even Donald Trump agrees with legalizing marijuana

Back in June, the New York Times carried a report that said Donald Trump agreed with the legalization of marijuana.

They wrote that he said, "We’re looking at it," and he "probably will end up supporting that."

According to The Hill, the bill means that the California Justice Department will have to go back through crime registers from 1975. This will cover a big chunk of time ending in 2016. Those cases seen as worthy of being expunged or reduced will be examined. CNN noted that the state justice department estimates as many as 218,000 convictions could be amended to a lesser offence or be "wiped out."

Crime won't be automatically expunged for marijuana convictions

The news is very good for those people who have convictions, but it will still take some time. CNN's report notes that county prosecutors will analyse and examine the records through to July 2020.

Automatic expunging of crime records won't happen in all cases. This is because prosecutors will be able to argue against the removal of the records if they can prove the person "does not meet the eligibility requirements or presents an unreasonable risk to public safety."

The legalization of marijuana is likely to spare police resources for other crime that needs to be addressed.

Prisons are less likely to fill up with people who engage in recreational use of marijuana and could boost local economies. However, drawbacks exist and police concerns over driving under the influence of marijuana prompted the invention of prototype screening machines.

Marijuana is illegal in the UK

Marijuana is not legal in any form in the United Kingdom.

The Sun notes that strict enforcement dates back to 1971. The Home Office confirmed to them that it's "illegal to possess, grow, distribute, and sell" marijuana. Calls for legislation to change include the use of medicinal marijuana. The Guardian carried a report in June about Billy Caldwell, who suffered a bad epilepsy fit after police confiscated medical marijuana from his mom at Heathrow. Guardian noted that the "Home Office came under intense pressure to allow him to be prescribed the medicine."

Growing pressure from the public may see the law lightening up a bit in the future, but right now, marijuana is not likely to be legalized in the United Kingdon. California may be leading the way in expunging records, but UK users will probably have to continue their crusade for a much longer time.