Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Indigenous peoples: Fighting discrimination

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

From Turkey to Iran: (re)inventing kebab

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara: ‘Dinosaurs were the last great champions’

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Alan Turing's nephew: ‘A Shakespearean tragedy surrounded his life’

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe: Chamisa's lawyers contest election results in court

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New US sanctions on Iran: Trump ups pressure after exiting nuclear deal

Read more

IN THE PRESS

‘Space Farce’? Alternative logos for new US military branch flood social media

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zambia accused of illegal handover of Zimbabwean opposition figure

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#MyCameraIsMyWeapon campaign takes on Iran's mandatory hijab law

Read more

Americas

San Francisco to clear thousands of marijuana convictions dating back 40 years

© David McNew/Getty Images North America/AFP | People stand in line to get into MedMen, a Los Angeles area pot shop that began selling marijuana for recreational use under the new California marijuana law on January 2, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-02-01

Thousands of San Francisco residents convicted of marijuana offenses since 1975 will see those convictions dismissed or reduced under an effort announced on Wednesday by the city’s district attorney.

California’s Proposition 64, which legalized recreational pot use and possession and reduced criminal penalties, allowed people to ask a court to reduce or dismiss past marijuana convictions.

But top San Francisco prosecutor George Gascon said on Wednesday he would not wait and would instead dismiss 3,038 misdemeanors and consider reducing an additional 4,900 felony marijuana charges.

The move is meant to make it easier for people who would otherwise have to retain an attorney to file expungement paperwork for convictions that can scuttle employment and housing opportunities and have disproportionately affected African-Americans, he said.

“Long ago we lost our ability to distinguish the dangerous from the nuisance, and it has broken our pocket books, the fabric of our communities, and we are no safer for it,” Gascon said in a statement.

Gascon said relatively few Californians had petitioned courts to have convictions expunged since the legalization measure was passed in late 2016.

California Lieutenant Governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom tweeted his support on Wednesday.

“This example underscores the true promise of legalization –providing new hope for those whose lives were derailed by a costly, broken and racially discriminatory system,” he said.

Nine states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational use, while dozens of others permit its medicinal use. California finalized its licensing, regulatory and tax structure to allow cannabis shops to open for retail sales this year.

Earlier this month, however, the U.S. Justice Department rescinded an Obama administration policy that had eased enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that legalized the drug, instead giving federal prosecutors wide latitude to pursue criminal charges.

“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,” Gascon said on Wednesday.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-02-01

  • FRANCE

    France to issue on-the-spot fines for cannabis use

    Read more

  • USA

    Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in California

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Jailed for a puff: Why Tunisia's prisons are crammed with cannabis users

    Read more

COMMENT(S)