San Francisco Expunges, Reduces Marijuana Convictions Dating Back Decades

With a population of almost 40 million, California on Jan. 1 became the largest U.S. state to legalize marijuana. (File image via Reuters)
With a population of almost 40 million, California on Jan. 1 became the largest U.S. state to legalize marijuana. (File image via Reuters)

San Francisco will retroactively apply California’s marijuana-legalization laws to past criminal cases, its District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday.

This means misdemeanor and felony convictions dating back decades ago will be expunged or reduced, the local San Francisco Gate reported.  

Gascón said his office will dismiss and seal more than 3,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions in San Francisco dating back to 1975, and review and re-sentence thousands of felony marijuana cases.

With a population of almost 40 million, California on Jan. 1 became the largest U.S. state to legalize marijuana. The legalization took place after state voters passed Proposition 64 in November 2016, pushing for marijuana legalization for those 21 and older, and eradicating convictions that would have been lesser crimes or not crimes at all.

The decision is great news as it will enhance people’s chances when applying for prospective jobs.

It will also reduce racial gaps in the United States.

A study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union found that African Americans were more than twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as whites, despite similar levels of use.

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