Los Angeles County prosecutors are partnering with a nonprofit expertise agency to wipe out or cut back as much as 66,000 marijuana convictions that disproportionately impacted minorities over many years.

The trouble comes a number of years after California voters legalized the drug. The county is working with Code for America, which makes use of a program to search out circumstances amongst decades-old court docket paperwork which might be eligible beneath this system.

“The dismissal of tens of hundreds of outdated cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will convey much-needed aid to communities of coloration that disproportionately suffered the unjust penalties of our nation’s drug legal guidelines,” District Legal professional Jackie Lacey stated in a press release.


Los Angeles County District Legal professional Jackie Lacey speaks throughout a dialogue in Salt Lake Metropolis. Los Angeles-area prosecutors are becoming a member of different district attorneys to make use of expertise to wipe out or cut back as many as 66,000 outdated marijuana convictions years after California voters broadly legalized the drug. (AP Photograph/Rick Bowmer, File)

On Thursday, a choose granted a request from prosecutors to dismiss 62,000 felony marijuana convictions relationship again to 1961. Lacey’s workplace additionally requested the court docket to erase 4,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession circumstances.

Of 53,000 individuals in Los Angeles County who’ve obtained aid beneath the plan, roughly 45 p.c are Latino, 32 p.c are African American, 20 p.c are white and three p.c are different or unknown.

Research have proven communities of coloration have borne the brunt of marijuana enforcement efforts although whites use and promote marijuana at comparable charges. Blacks are jailed at increased charges in California for marijuana-related crimes although they account for less than 6 p.c of the state’s inhabitants.

In an effort to broaden this system, Code for America has supplied its providers to all 58 district attorneys within the state.

“This can be a clear demonstration that automated file clearance is feasible at scale and can assist to proper the wrongs of the failed battle on medication,” Evonne Silva, Code for America’s senior program director of legal justice, stated in a press release.


The pc program identifies eligible circumstances and fills out kinds to file with courts. It might analyze conviction eligibility for about 10,000 individuals per minute, versus the time it could take staff to dig by means of information.

With the newest motion, Code for America can have helped dismiss greater than 85,000 marijuana convictions in 5 counties together with San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa, officers stated.

The Related Press contributed to this report.