More California Counties Wiping Out Old Marijuana Convictions


POLITICS 04/01/2019 08:38 pm ET
More California Counties Wiping Out Old Marijuana Convictions
Around 54,000 marijuana convictions in Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties are eligible to be expunged.
By Lydia O’Connor

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Tens of thousands more Californians could soon have their old marijuana-related convictions wiped clean as additional counties announced on Monday that they are automating the record-clearing process.

District attorneys in both Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties said Monday that they’re partnering with Code For America to implement an algorithm that quickly identifies convictions eligible under Prop 64, which legalized recreational pot use in California and allowed authorities to clear past marijuana-related convictions from people’s records. The law took full effect in 2018.

“As technology advances and the criminal justice system evolves, we as prosecutors must do our part to pursue innovative justice procedures on behalf of our constituents,” Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement of Code For America’s “Clear My Record” tool. “This collaboration will improve people’s lives by erasing the mistakes of their past and hopefully lead them on a path to a better future.”

There are 50,000 eligible convictions in Los Angeles County and another 4,000 in San Joaquin County, officials said. Without those convictions, many people will no longer have felonies they must report when seeking jobs and housing.

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