Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Objective 'Zero Hunger' 2030: Lambert Wilson and UN's FAO tell us how

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnians help out as migrants pour in

Read more

ENCORE!

Masego: Meet the 'TrapHouseJazz' musician getting 55 million hits on YouTube

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump: How deep do business ties run?

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

A pretty picture: Investing in the booming contemporary art market

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US backs off branding China a currency manipulator

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'No free press in Arab world': Washington Post publishes Khashoggi's last column

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Gay couple speak out on surrogacy: 'It's not about exploiting someone'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Global competitiveness report ranks African countries

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)