Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Friday that he is moving to dismiss nearly 60,000 cannabis convictions that took place before California legalized recreational marijuana use.
Last year, roughly 66,000 cannabis convictions were dismissed in Los Angeles County under the last DA, after prosecutors in California were tasked with reviewing old convictions.
But that review only involved cases from state Department of Justice data, according to a news release from Gascón’s office.
When L.A. County court records were examined, officials found another 58,000 felony and misdemeanor cases dating back more than three decades that are also eligible for dismissal, the DA’s Office said.
That means that nearly 125,000 cannabis cases are being dismissed in L.A. County.
“Dismissing these convictions means the possibility of a better future to thousands of disenfranchised people who are receiving this long-needed relief,” Gascón 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.”
Gascón was the co-author of the measure that made cannabis legal in California, Prop. 64, and “has been at the forefront in eliminating prior cannabis convictions,” his office said.
“The latest batch of cases 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,” the DA’s office said in a news release.
Lynne Lyman, former director of the Drug Policy Alliance, called the dismissals the “unfinished work of Proposition 64.”
“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 disproportionately targeted people of color,” Lyman said in a statement.
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