LOS ANGELES, CA — Over 66,000 Los Angeles County residents with marijuana convictions are about to get a clean record, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Thursday. Their convictions will be thrown out with the help of a computer algorithm identifying cases eligible for dismissal under Proposition 64.
The largest action was yet taken in the wake of the passing of the proposition, which identifies convictions that qualify for resentencing: cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana, and sales and/or transport of marijuana — all felonies. The law also includes dismissing possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.
In all 53,000 people, this week will be free from marijuana convictions haunting them as far back as 1961. Of those, approximately 32% are black, 20% are white, 45% are Latinx, and 3% are other or unknown, according to the district attorney.
Prosecutors this week asked a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to dismiss 62,000 felony cannabis convictions, the statement said. The District Attorney’s Office also sought the dismissal of approximately 4,000 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases that included cases filed in 10 Los Angeles County cities: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Pasadena, Inglewood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach.
The DA’s Office and the nonprofit Code for America, according to a joint statement. Code for America uses computer algorithms to find eligible cases that are otherwise hard to find in court documents that date back decades.
Lacey, who is scheduled to hold a news conference this morning, said that “the dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws. I am privileged to be part of a system dedicated to finding innovative solutions and implementing meaningful criminal justice reform that gives all people the support they need to build the life they deserve.”