The action taken by L.A .County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to expunge cannabis related crimes will include 62,000 felony convictions and 4,000 misdemeanor convictions. Included in the expungements were felonies for cultivation, transporting, or sales for individuals who hadn’t had a felony conviction in the last 10 years or have completed probation for those convictions.
Code for America is a tech firm that works to reform the criminal justice system and to help those most impacted by the criminal justice system. The group has formed partnerships with counties all over California concerning cannabis legalization.
They worked with city officials in San Francisco to erase 9,362 felony and misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1975. The program Code for America developed helps identify eligible cases for areas recently introduced to cannabis legalization. The program then fills out the necessary forms and files with the court.
While many cities in California are starting their expungement processes, San Francisco is the first to finish. The city decided to take the process upon themselves after a shocking 23 people had petitioned the city to expunge their cannabis convictions.
More than 85,000 cannabis convictions have been overturned in five major counties. According to a Fox News Report, the counties include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa.
The D.A. 's office is still challenging 2,142 cannabis convictions. The argument stems from issues with the past criminal history of these individuals. The move to expunge these records comes years after legal cannabis was voter-approved.
This marks a big step in rectifying the decades of enforcement that disproportionately targeted people of color. The push to automatically clear pot convictions will gain more support as states continue to legalize adult-use.