32-year-old, Stephen Zyszkiewicz, software engineer from San Bruno, was raided and caught selling medical marijuana products last June. Proposition 64 might save him from incarceration of up to three years.
Proposition 64 will clear many criminal records and cause former cannabis felonies to be considered as misdemeanors
Mercury News reports that Proposition 64 was passed in California by 56.5 percent of the vote. The implications are huge in many ways, but how it will affect past cannabis offenders is very positive. People who had to report their conviction to employers, landlords or anyone else no longer have to do so.
An outspoken civil rights lawyer from San Francisco, Tony Serra says, “It’s wonderful. You’re not marked or targeted any longer.”
Previously, you were a criminal if you were convicted of a variety of cannabis-related offenses including selling medical cannabis without a license. This has resulted in many non-violent offenders ending up behind bars.
A selection of our products
From felony to misdemeanor
Now, these acts are considered misdemeanors for first offenders if not sold to minors or if there is no previous record of sex crime or violent crime. Serra says it will take time. Change will come slowly until prosecutors develop consistency with the state Attorney General’s Office, and policies are made public.
State reform sharply opposes federal drug policy, and many are apprehensive and highly skittish of Donald Trump’s possible choice for Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican Senator who has called marijuana “dangerous”.
Home delivery to patients
Zyszkiewicz was selling medical marijuana products to patients illegally after he applied for a license, but got turned down in San Mateo County and Campbell and Fremont.
One such a patient he delivered to at his home says he trusted him. The man suffered from chronic pain, arthritis and inflammation in his knee after an injury sustained five years ago. He can’t travel long distances and stand in queues, making travelling to dispensaries difficult. He has been through opioid dependence, and would much rather use something natural. He could deal with Zyszkiewicz directly.
The raid itself was spectacular. The arresting officers from the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and San Bruno police were armed to the teeth, and held Zyszkiewicz and his wife at gunpoint. They seized $50,000 worth of cannabis products including CBD products as well as cash and computer equipment.
Zyszkiewicz claims the cannabis medicine, edibles and topical lotions, were legal, and he should get his inventory back. Some MDMA (ecstasy) was also found, but Zyszkiewicz denies it belonged to him.
His case is up for review on Dec. 1, and he will be eligible for reduction on the cannabis charges to misdemeanor, says San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. However, the charges relating to his MDMA possession won’t go away as easily. IT will be difficult for him to prove that the drugs did not belong to him.
Let’s hope the soft-spoken software engineer in a t-shirt can prove he is innocent and was not selling narcotics. Hopefully, he was honestly just being helpful to people who battle to get to medical marijuana dispensaries.