Los Angeles County To Dismiss Nearly 60,000 Weed Convictions, District Attorney Says

Los Angeles County prosecutors will move to dismiss nearly 60,000 marijuana convictions, the district attorney’s office announced Monday.

District Attorney George Gascón said officials identified about 58,000 cases going back three decades that are eligible for dismissal. 

“Dismissing these convictions means the possibility of a better future to thousands of disenfranchised people who are receiving this long-needed relief,” Gascón said in a statement Monday. “It clears the path for them to find jobs, housing and other services that previously were denied to them because of unjust cannabis laws.”

California voters approved a measure to legalize recreational weed in 2016. Since then, counties in the state have moved to wipe out thousands of marijuana convictions.

Gascón’s office worked with the The Social Impact Center, a program focused on helping expunge prior marijuana convictions, to identify the thousands of eligible cases.

“I have made it my life mission to help and support people who have been impacted by the ‘war on drugs,’” Felicia Carbajal, the executive director and community leader of The Social Impact Center, said in a statement. “Giving people with cannabis convictions a new lease on life by expunging the records is something I have worked on for years and I am grateful that we can now make it happen.”

As Forbes points out, other states like Illinois and New Jersey have expunged hundreds of thousands of weed-related convictions. And in New York, which passed recreational marijuana legalization earlier this year, thousands of criminal records related to marijuana convictions were automatically expunged.

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