San Francisco eliminates criminal record of people convicted for cannabis

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District Attorney for the City of San Francisco, George Gascón announced that the criminal records of approximately 3,000 people convicted of minor cannabis-related crimes since 1975 will be eliminated.

This decision is part of the postulates of Proposition 64, a law passed by voters in 2016 to regulate the medicinal and adult use of this herb.

The law allows all criminal records of California citizens for minor offenses to be modified. In turn, it gives the opportunity for people currently imprisoned to have the right to a review of their file.

According to press reports, at least 4,500 people have made requests to have their history reviewed since the law was passed.

Personas hacen cola para entrar a un dispensario de cannabis en San Francisco. (ARCHIVO/DanielGómez)

In Los Angeles, these benefits have been used and it is expected that other locations will implement the benefit.

The San Francisco authorities announced that the sentences will be automatically changed or revised, without this implying economic costs for low-income people.

In addition to the 3000 convictions that will be revoked, Gascón announced that almost 5,000 crimes will be reviewed to determine if they are still punished under the same conditions in the new State law and thus assess whether they should be modified. Among the crimes to be assessed are possession, trafficking and various types of related crimes.

“We want to amend the damages caused by the failed drug policies that have existed for years in this country and fix some of the damage that has been done not only to the entire nation but specifically to communities of color,” Gascon said at a press conference.

Drug policy analysts and the Drug Policy Alliance believe that this shift in San Francisco could become the beginning of a broader movement to address this problem throughout the State.

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