Following the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, San Franciso will retroactively apply the new law to past criminal cases by expunging or reducing misdemeanor and felony convictions going back to 1975. District Attorney George Gascón has stated his office will dismiss and seal over 3,000 misdemeanor convictions, which will also affect individuals with related criminal histories, allowing them to obtain government benefits and job opportunities that were previously unattainable.
Prosecutors will also review and re-sentence 4,940 felony marijuana cases where the situation calls for it. “Instead of waiting for people to petition — for the community to come out — we have decided that we will do so ourselves,” Gascón said. “We believe it is the right thing to do. We believe it is the just thing to do.”
The announcement was made during a news conference by Gascón alongside city supervisors, the city’s Office of Cannabis, and the Reverend Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP. “This is a giant step for justice and it is a step toward setting black people free to live in the community, to have jobs, to have health care, to have a decent education, and we just need to keep this good thing a-rollin,” Said Rev. Brown. Is this the correct first step in the ongoing legalization of weed in America? Share your thoughts below.