San Francisco retroactively tossing thousands of pot convictions

Good news for people who had a marijuana-related conviction in San Francisco during the past 40-plus years.The...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 10:57 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 10:58 AM

Good news for people who had a marijuana-related conviction in San Francisco during the past 40-plus years.

There's a good chance it will be removed from their records or be downgraded.

Law allows Californians to petition for misdemeanors to be expunged, felonies reduced

DA says process can be cost prohibitive for citizens, so his office will do the work

On Wednesday, San Francisco District Attorney George Gasc-n said his office is going to look into thousands of cases dating back to 1975, retroactively applying a new California law legalizing some recreational cannabis possession.

The new law allows people whose past crimes would now not be penalized in the same way to petition to have their convictions overturned or reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

But Gasc-n said his office is going to be proactive and do the legwork for the people affected.

"We have an opportunity to lead the way (statewide and nationally)," he said.

There are 3,038 misdemeanor marijuana crimes that will be expunged, he told reporters. Another 4,940 felony cases need to be reviewed to see which ones qualify to be reduced to a misdemeanor. Murderers and rapists, for instance, would not be eligible, Gasc-n said.

"What we want to make sure is ... that people who were really the victims of the war on drugs, in general terms, and are people that are trying to get their lives in the right direction, that they get relief they deserve," he said. "We have damaged a lot of people in our community."

Statewide about 4,900 Californians have filed petitions asking to have their records wiped of cannabis convictions. In San Francisco the number is about 23, Gasc-n said.

Gasc-n said no one in San Francisco will have to pay for an attorney, take off work to attend court, or file time-consuming paperwork.

Officials who attended the DA's news conference praised the decision, saying the number of marijuana arrests disproportionately affected minorities. The convictions make it more difficult for people to get jobs, loans or places to live, they said.

Amos C. Brown of the NAACP's San Francisco office said the district's attorney's decision will help African-Americans "who've been the victims of an unjust criminal justice system, denied equality of opportunity" and had their humanity disrespected.

Laura Thomas of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy organization that says people should not be punished for what they put in their bodies, said applying the law retroactively is very important.

"It doesn't feel like justice to change the laws for some people and leave other people in jail cells," she said.

There are no misdemeanor cases in the courts now, Gasc-n said.

He believes that people curious about the status of their cases will be able to go to the DA's website to see whether there has been a change. Misdemeanors will be easier to expunge, Gasc-n said. Felony cases will involve more time.

"I think within a year our work will be done," Gasc-n said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
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Washington3179107
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Marshall217250
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Monroe198177
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Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
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Scott154829
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Simpson148353
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Leake134944
Holmes130861
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Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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