LOS ANGELES, CA —Thousands of Angelenos’ marijuana convictions will go up in smoke, the district attorney announced Monday.
Prosecutors will automatically clear more than 50,000 marijuana-related convictions eligible for reversal under Proposition 64 in both Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties. Prosecutors from both counties agreed to work with the nonprofit Code for America, which developed software known as Clear My Record that can quickly identify convictions eligible to be cleared. The decision impacts the jobs prospects for tens of thousands of people forced to disclose marijuana convictions on job applications.
There are about 50,000 such cases in Los Angeles County, and 4,000 in San Joaquin County, authorities said.
“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 County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “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.
“Helping to clear that path by reducing or dismissing cannabis convictions can result in someone securing a job or benefiting from other programs that may have been unavailable to them in the past,” Lacey said.
Until now, people convicted of marijuana-related crimes needed to petition the court to have their records cleared. That can be a long, expensive process. The Code for America system will “automatically and securely evaluate eligibility for record-clearance by reading and interpreting conviction data in just a few minutes,” according to Lacey’s office.