SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Thousands of marijuana convictions have been wiped off the books in Santa Clara County. Some 11,500 convictions involving more than 9000 defendants have now been expunged.

The action is a result of voter-approved Proposition 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana in California.

READ MORE: Menlo Park Man Stabbed at Party

“Too many people who have committed low-level offenses and paid their debt to society remain hampered by old criminal records in their efforts to get back on track,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “The justice system must always evolve toward fairness and equality.”

READ MORE: One Dead, Three Wounded In Early Sunday Morning Shooting In Oakland's Uptown Neighborhood

The move eliminates the need for people who qualified to file petitions and attend hearings, and covers convictions dating back 50 years.

MORE NEWS: No Injuries in Saturday Night Shooting, Santa Rosa Police Say

The presiding judge said it should provide a sense of closure and allow some defendants to seek employment as businesses begin to reopen.