LA County ready to clear tens of thousands of marijuana convictions

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More jurisdictions across the country are correcting past injustices

One of the side aspects that has received attention from authorities after cannabis was made legal in several states, is the record expungement for the unfair convictions in the past. Every area must follow its own protocols to make this a reality, and Los Angeles County is one step closer to dismissing nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions. District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced yesterday that she had secured the removal of these convictions, and this action will come to bring relief and reverse the years of disproportioned law enforcement regarding drugs that usually target people of color.

According to Lacey, since California passed AB 1793, the legislation allows the dismissal of these convictions. This bill requested the Justice Department to look for any convictions that are cannabis-related and that are eligible to be either revoked or downgraded to misdemeanors as per the 2016 passage of Proposition 64. Now, the prosecutors will give until July so the cases can be reviewed. Based on the data shared by the attorney general’s office, 45% of those convictions will bring relief to the Latino community, and the other 32% belong to the black community.

“The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” said Lacey in a news release. This decision can also help people of disfavored communities to pass the barriers placed by these convictions for finding housing, jobs, or even enrolling in school. “What this does is correct that inequity of the past,” Lacey added in a separate interview. “It gives them a start, a new start.”