LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Nearly 60,000 cannabis convictions will be dismissed by Los Angeles County George Gascón, his office announced Monday.
Gascón’s move to dismiss this round of drug convictions continues the impact of Proposition 64, which in 2016 made marijuana legal in California. Sealing these records will allow people were convicted of marijuana use or possession to seek out new jobs, citizenship, and educational opportunities without a conviction hanging over their heads.READ MORE: LA County Sheriff's Deputies Armed With Cleaning Supplies Help 86-Year-Old La Mirada Woman Living In Filthy, Unsafe Conditions
“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 disproportionally targeted people of color,” Lynne Lyman, former director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.READ MORE: 'Survivor 41' Episode 6: The Merge Part 1
After the proposition passed, about 66,000 cannabis convictions were dismissed last year. However, those cases were dismissed after being identified from state Department of Justice data. A closer examination of Los Angeles County court records uncovered approximately 58,000 more felony and misdemeanor cases that date back three decades and are also eligible for dismissal.
“Dismissing these convictions means the possibility of a better future to thousands of disenfranchised people who are receiving this long-needed relief,” Gascon said in a statement. “It clears the path for them to find jobs, housing, and other services that previously were denied to them because of unjust cannabis laws.”MORE NEWS: Regina King Places Handprints, Footprints Outside TCL Chinese Theatre In Hollywood
The latest round of cases now eligible for dismissal could come as a surprise to people who either thought their convictions were already dismissed last year, or were not aware they are eligible for resentencing, Gascón’s office said. Nearly 125,000 cannabis cases are being dismissed in Los Angeles County alone.