Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón stated on Monday that his office would dismiss nearly 60,000 marijuana-related convictions.
Under the previous Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, the office moved last year to dump 66,000 marijuana convictions that took place before voters passed Proposition 64, the state’s law legalizing recreational marijuana use.
Lacey’s list was compiled using information collected by the California Department of Justice, and Gascón said his office was able to identify tens of thousands more eligible cases by combing LA County court records, The LA Times reported.
“Dismissing these convictions means the possibility of a better future to thousands of disenfranchised people who are receiving this long-needed relief,” Gascón said in a statement. “It clears the path for them to find jobs, housing and other services that previously were denied to them because of unjust cannabis laws.”
Gascón has long championed efforts to reverse what he sees as the racially disparate and overly punitive effects of the nation’s war on drugs. While serving as San Francisco’s top prosecutor, he sought the dismissal of nearly 9,000 felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions that were processed before the passage of Prop. 64.
Arizona’s new recreational marijuana law, Prop 207, includes provisions for expunging records that show the arrest, charge, adjudication, conviction, or sentence of certain marijuana-related offenses. The state’s website helps individuals determine if they qualify for expungement and will provide forms and instructions for filing.