Today’s announcement by Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey to dismiss nearly 70,000 marijuana related convictions dating back as far as the 1960’s is a step in the right direction in applying fairness under the law.
Individuals charged with possession and/or distribution, prior to the voter approved enactment of 2016’s Proposition 64, have paid a severe price having been charged with a felony, lessening their ability to obtain employment or find proper housing.
The conviction rates were also disproportionate with brown and black individuals seeing higher number of felonies than other groups for the same charges.
Dismissing and sealing these prior offenses and records will give new opportunities to those who have suffered under unjust laws from previous eras and will hopefully allow those who have served their time a chance to obtain and pursue a better living standard post dismissal.
Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer is the Chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee and represents the constituents of the 59th Assembly District in South Los Angeles.
Richard Garcia, (213) 744-2111