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Los Angeles City Council acts to remove ‘pot’ convictions

LA City Council President Herb Wesson introduces resolution to accelerate removal of ‘pot’ and related convictions

A resolution to accelerate the expungement and resentencing of marijuana and related convictions has been introduced in the Los Angeles City Council. Courtesy LA City Council

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson introduces resolution to accelerate removal of ‘pot’ and related convictions

LOS ANGELES (MNS) – Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson introduced a resolution to accelerate the expungement and resentencing of cannabis-related convictions in Greater Los Angeles.

In response to evidence of decades of racial bias in the enforcement and prosecution of pot-related crimes across the country, last week, the measure, which was co-introduced by Councilmembers Monica Rodriguez, Curren Price Jr., and Gil Cedillo, will formally align the City of Los Angeles with legislation being considered at the county and state level and add the legislation to the City’s State Legislative Program.

“This is the right thing to do, plain and simple,” said Wesson. “California voters told us with the passage of Prop 64 that this is what they want their elected officials to do. My hope is that this will right some wrongs sooner rather than later for Angelinos whose lives have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs.”

The resolution will head to the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee where it’s expected to be heard next month.

Proposition 64, which passed in November 2016, legalized recreational marijuana statewide and eliminated several pot-related laws that applied retroactively to convictions under those laws. But the review process has been time-intensive and many cases across California are stuck in expungement limbo.

Wesson’s measure follows the announcement by the San Francisco District Atty. George Gascón that his office plans to wipe more than 9,000 cannabis-related convictions after teaming up with Code for America, a nonprofit that uses open source technology to make government processes more efficient, to find every cannabis case eligible for expungement or resentencing under the terms laid out in Prop 64.

Various studies have shown that while cannabis use is roughly equal between Black and Whites, Black persons are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for simple marijuana possession.

 

 

 

 

 

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