As we’ve seen over the past few months, one of the benefits of marijuana legalization has been states allowing those previously convicted to have their charges dismissed. Los Angeles County has become the next city to do just that.
According to CNN, approximately 66,000 marijuana convictions will be dismissed as a result of the recent legalization laws. According to the county District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, that number breaks down to 62,000 felony convictions that relate to the growing and selling of marijuana and around 4,000 misdemeanor possession cases. Of those convictions 45 percent are Latino and 32 percent are black. This is in addition to the 85,000 cases already dismissed so far.
Having a felony on your record makes it hard to do anything in this country. This action is going to provide a real chance at a new beginning for a lot of folks. In 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union found that black people were 3.73 times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges despite the usage being similar between races. I’m happy to see that a lot of these legalization measures have processes in place for prior convictions to be dismissed. The hope is that more states start to implement similar legalization techniques so that more folks can get their lives back.
It’s really sad that so many black and brown people have criminal records just cause they wanted to kick back, roll something up and watch Paid in Full.
Damn. That actually sounds like a really good way to spend a Friday night. Arizona really needs to hurry up and legalize it.