LA County DA George Gascón dismissing nearly 60,000 cannabis convictions

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that nearly 60,000 cannabis convictions will be dismissed.

Ingrid Archie benefited from Prop 64. Along with legalizing marijuana in California, the 2016 measure helped pave the way for some old cannabis convictions to be cleared, including Archie's.

In a Zoom conference Monday morning with L.A. County government leaders and community advocates, Archie described the obstacles tied to a cannabis conviction.

"The barriers that are created when a person cannot get a job, when a person cannot find housing, when a person cannot get the necessary resources that they need because of the barriers that are created by archaic laws that target poor people from our community," Archie said.

Gascón, with the support of several nonprofit leaders, announced nearly 60,000 more dismissals like these are on the way and his office is taking it one step further, not only expunging the criminal records, but also sealing them.

"Cases of people that went in for cultivation, for possession, for sale, perhaps transportation, in some cases, many, many decades ago," Gascón said.

The Social Impact Center worked alongside local government and grassroots organizers to help identify those who are impacted. Felicia Carbajal, the nonprofit's executive director, was also part of the conference.

"Today's announcement solidifies for us that transformation is possible, that storytelling, changing hearts and minds and intersectional community building, continues to afford our beloved communities opportunities to have the audacity to ask questions, like the one we did leading to the identification of nearly 60,000 Angelenos," Carbajal said.

Archie, who saw the effects of the change firsthand, said more people need to experience them.

"This is important. I'm glad that this is happening, and I hope that we will continue to do so, because 60,000 is a lot, but it's not enough," Archie said.

In total, nearly 125,000 cases like these will be dismissed in L.A. County.

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