The San Francisco District Attorney's office announced Wednesday morning that thousands of pot convictions will be dismissed or reviewed in a push that comes now that recreational marijuana is legal. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) office in San Francisco praised the decision, saying it would help black people in the city "who've been the victims of an unjust criminal justice system [and] denied equality of opportunity".
The city of San Francisco is erasing thousands of marijuana-related convictions by retroactively applying California's legalization laws, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A person with a felony can only have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor under the new proposition on marijuana.
Recreational marijuana became legal in California past year, and on January 1 it became legal for licensed dispensaries to sell it to non-medical patients.
"Long ago we lost our ability to distinguish the risky from the nuisance, and it has broken our pocket books, the fabric of our communities, and we are no safer for it", he said in a press release.
3,038 misdemeanors will immediately be dismissed, and as many as 4,900 felony marijuana charges could possibly be reduced and resentenced. Some people with convictions may not know they are eligible, Gascon said. But, reviewing each felony conviction will take time He doesn't have an estimate on how much it will cost.
Gascón claims that the country made a big mistake with the approach on marijuana over the years and that it has broken the "pocketbooks" of the nation.
How did San Francisco vote for Proposition 64?
Recreational marijuana use is now legal in California. In 2000, African-Americans were 7.8 percent of San Francisco's population but comprised 41 percent of marijuana arrests. "Although Proposition 64 provided a way for people to petition the court to get relief from past marijuana convictions, the process is not automatic and depends upon the person learning of their rights under the new law and initiating the court process".
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