San Francisco to clear thousands of Marijuana Convictions

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on February 01, 2018.

In an unprecedented move, San Francisco will retroactively apply California's new marijuana legalization laws to marijuana convictions -- expunging or reducing misdemeanors and felonies since 1975, the District Attorney's office announced Wednesday.

Around 5,000 felony marijuana convictions will be reviewed, recalled and re-sentenced, and more than 3,000 misdemeanors that were sentenced prior to Proposition 64's passage will be dismissed and sealed,District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.

The move will affect thousands of people whose marijuana convictions brand them with criminal histories that can be barriers for finding employment and obtaining various government benefits.

While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead to undo the damage that this country's disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular,Gascón added.

Proposition 64, which became law in 2016 and allowed for legal pot sales from January 1 this year, legalizes the possession and purchase of up to an ounce of marijuana and allows individuals to grow up to six plants for personal use. The measure also allowed those convicted of marijuana offenses to petition their cases for dismissal or reduction to a lesser offense.

In a statement, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said San Francisco's move provides new hope and opportunities to Californians, primarily people of color, whose lives were long ago derailed by a costly, broken and racially discriminatory system of marijuana criminalization.

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