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Friday, February 28, 2020

District Attorney Leading Efforts to Dismiss 66,000 Marijuana Convictions in California

LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey

Los Angeles, CA — California courts have been ordered to dismiss around 66,000 marijuana convictions, even those going back decades. The move initiated by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey is considered the largest such undertaking in state history.

“We believe it is the largest effort in California to wipe out old criminal convictions in a single court motion,” Lacey said.

In 2016, Proposition 64 was passed and legalized marijuana in California. It ordered the prosecutors in the state to reduce past marijuana convictions from felonies to misdemeanors.

Lacey, who decided to go even further, have requested for the dismissal of all eligible cannabis-related convictions. She also “expanded the criteria to go above and beyond the parameters of the law to ensure that many more people will benefit from this historic moment in time.”

Eligible for the conviction dismissal were those who are 50 years of age or older, those who has not been convicted of a crime in the last 10 years, those with a conviction who successfully completed probation, and those with a conviction under the age of 21.

About 62,000 who had felony cannabis convictions and 3,700 who had misdemeanor possession convictions that were prosecuted in different cities will benefit from the move. It is expected to alleviate their struggles of finding a job or housing because of a criminal record.

Moreover, Lacey, who is running for a third term as Distrcit Attorney in Los Angeles, also wanted to make sure that the court would seal the convictions.

“If you have a record, you don’t have to worry about even going through and having it sealed…We’re making a motion to seal it because we realize that’s the issue,” Lacey said. “When you go to apply for a job, you go to apply for housing and you’re record comes up, even though we’ve expunged it, that may not give you help.”

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