Politics

LA County to dismiss nearly 60,000 marijuana-related convictions

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that nearly 60,000 cannabis convictions will be dismissed.

The move comes after tens of thousands of marijuana convictions were dismissed last year under a measure that tasked prosecutors with reviewing convictions. Gascon’s office said further examination showed approximately 58,000 felony and misdemeanor cases dating back more than three decades that were also eligible for dismissal.

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

Approximately 20,000 of the convictions expected to be dismissed under the order Monday were for felony possession or cultivation of marijuana, Los Angeles County district attorney’s office spokeswoman Jean Guccione told The Los Angeles Times.

Felicia Carabal, executive director of Los Angeles-based non-profit community center the Social Impact Center, said the organization helped the county identify the discrepancy in how it handled the case expungements as it initially relied solely on California Department of Justice records to identify cases that would qualify for relief.

“I have made it my life mission to help and support people who have been impacted by the ‘war on drugs,'” Carbajal said. “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.”

Gascon has also announced plans for prosecutors to work with the public defender’s office to seek a “blanket” court order to seal records of the convictions for thousands of defendants affected by the cases being dismissed.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: AXIOS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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