Free at last…thank God almighty –
February 13, 2020 – “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,” Lacey said in a news release.
“I am privileged to be part of a system dedicated to finding innovative solutions and implementing meaningful criminal justice reform that gives all people the support they need to build the life they deserve,” she said.
The 66,000 dismissals mean conviction relief for about 53,000 people. About 45% are Latino; 32% are black; and 20% are white, Lacey’s office said. In November 2016, California voters OK’d the legalization of recreational marijuana by approving Proposition 64. The proposition’s passage also allows people to petition the judicial system to have their old pot convictions expunged.
In 2018, the state Legislature passed AB 1793, which required the state Department of Justice to scour California’s crime records and find past cannabis convictions that are eligible to be expunged or downgraded to misdemeanors — generally, convictions for activities that would no longer be crimes under Proposition 64. The bill gives county prosecutors until this July to review the list and decide which dismissals would be appropriate.