State Watch

Los Angeles working with tech organization to remove marijuana convictions

Prosecutors in Los Angeles County announced Monday that they will wipe out about 50,000 marijuana convictions after teaming up with a technology company to find eligible cases.

The county will work with Code for America, a tech nonprofit that uses an algorithm to locate cases that are eligible to be cleared, according to an announcement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors in California’s San Joaquin County also announced Monday that they are partnering with the group to erase another 4,000 such convictions.

{mosads}“This collaboration will improve people’s lives by erasing the mistakes of their past and hopefully lead them on a path to a better future. Helping to clear that path by reducing or dismissing cannabis convictions can result in someone securing a job or benefitting from other programs that may have been unavailable to them in the past,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in the statement.

The announcements come after San Francisco previously teamed up with the nonprofit to eliminate thousands of convictions, the statement noted.

Voters in California in 2016 approved a measure legalizing marijuana possession and enabling individuals convicted of certain marijuana possession charges to petition to have those convictions eliminated.

“When we do this right, we show that government can make good on its promises, especially for the hundreds of thousands who have been denied jobs, housing and other opportunities despite the passage of laws intended to provide relief,” Jennifer Pahlka, executive director of Code for America, said in the statement.

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