Saying it “will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey recently secured the dismissal of 66,000 marijuana-related convictions.
““These convictions,” Lacey said at a news conference last Thursday, “should no longer burden those who have struggled to find a job or a place to live because of their criminal record.”
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge signed the order to dismiss the charges two days before Lacey’s announcement.
Contributing 250 convictions to the total was Pasadena, one of 10 Los Angeles County cities with power to prosecute misdemeanors, said Pasadena City Attorney and City Prosecutor Michele Beal Bagneris.
Lacey told the Pasadena Star-News that she asked the judge to dismiss 62,000 felony convictions, along with 4,000 misdemeanor convictions in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Inglewood, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Burbank and Pasadena.
Bagneris said her office reviewed some misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1947.
“I think it’s appropriate to give people the opportunity to have this removed from their records, so they can seek job opportunities and housing opportunities without having to worry about that,” Bagneris told the Pasadena Weekly. Bagneris said Africans Americans have historically been disproportionately prosecuted for marijuana-related offenses. Representing 8 percent of the population, Africans Americans accounted for 32 percent of the pot-related convictions.
“It’s highly disproportionate,” Bagneris said.
Pasadena city prosecutors identified people who were potentially eligible for dismissal of their previous marijuana convictions after months of review, Bagneris told Andre Coleman, managing editor of the Pasadena Now news website.
Published: February 20, 2020