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Tens of thousands of Los Angeles County residents are eligible for reclassification or re-sentencing of minor cannabis convictions, but the lack of easy-to-use digital solutions has left far too many people in limbo, county officials said Tuesday.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended leveraging technology to reach more people whose lives have been hampered by prior convictions for now-legal acts.
“The war on drugs led to decades-long racial disparities in cannabis-related arrests and convictions,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We have a responsibility to right these wrongs by utilizing the latest innovations in technology to ensure that people who have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs get the second chance they deserve.”
Fewer than 1,000 people have filed a petition for reclassification or re-sentencing, out of an estimated 60,000-100,000 eligible individuals, according to Ridley-Thomas.
“The people who have been charged with these crimes are disproportionately people of color, and their record severely impacts their ability to access housing, education, employment, and other necessities for stability — all for convictions based on actions that the voters have declared are no longer crimes,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis, who co-authored the motion.
Published: March 19, 2019