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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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
Hubbard117728
Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
Cottonwood9284
Renville92729
Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
Pipestone74718
Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
Pennington6758
Swift6149
Murray6064
Faribault5902
Pope5641
Clearwater5389
Stevens5333
Marshall5289
Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
Unassigned38259
Lincoln3721
Norman3638
Big Stone3332
Mahnomen3164
Grant2956
Kittson2408
Red Lake2283
Traverse1521
Lake of the Woods1021
Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
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Shelby79511
Emmet78626
Guthrie77115
Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
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Keokuk6477
Pocahontas5984
Howard5809
Osceola5411
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Ida53013
Clarke5004
Montgomery49311
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Taylor4773
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