LA County DA Announces Plans to Dismiss Nearly 60K Cannabis Convictions

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Posted: Sep 27, 2021 8:00 PM
LA County DA Announces Plans to Dismiss Nearly 60K Cannabis Convictions

Source: AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that his office will dismiss nearly 60,000 cannabis convictions as part of his efforts to "reverse the injustices of drug laws."

"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 press release. "It clears the path for them to find jobs, housing and other services that previously were denied to them because of unjust cannabis laws."

Now, a total of nearly 125,000 cannabis convictions in Los Angeles County will be dismissed after the recent dismissals. 

Approximately 66,000 convictions were dismissed last year after the passage of Assembly Bill 1793, which required prosecutors in California to review the convictions. However, that review only applied to cases from state Department of Justice data. Los Angeles County court records found that around 58,000 felony and misdemeanor cannabis convictions, which date back more than 30 years, are eligible for dismissal.

In 2016, Gascón co-authored Proposition 64, which made cannabis legal in the state of California.

"This is the unfinished work of Proposition 64," Lynne Lyman, former director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in the press release. "We created the opportunity for old cannabis convictions to be cleared, but it was up to local district attorneys to actually make it happen. Proposition 64 was always about more than legal weed, it was an intentional effort to repair the past harms of the war on drugs and cannabis prohibition, which disproportionately targeted people of color."

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