Marijuana is Now Legal in California
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Marijuana is Now Legal in California
Posted by CN Staff on February 06, 2018 at 10:54:22 PT
By The Times Editorial Board
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- Marijuana is now legal under California law, but hundreds of thousands of Californians have criminal records for possessing or selling the drug when it was still banned. Those records can make it harder for people to get a job, obtain a loan, go to college, rent an apartment or otherwise become productive members of their community — even if their marijuana arrest happened decades ago.Proposition 64 not only allowed the sale and adult use of marijuana going forward, subject to state and local regulation, it applied the law retroactively and created a process for people to have certain pot convictions reduced or expunged entirely from their records. Yet few people — about 4,900 — have filed for expungements in the first year. Perhaps they don't know that this relief is available. Perhaps it's too expensive or intimidating; the process requires hiring a lawyer, filing a petition and going to court.
Quote: The war on marijuana was a mistake, and the sooner California alleviates the damage done, the better for all Californians. Some prosecutors in California aren't waiting for petitions. They are proactively reviewing marijuana cases handled by their offices and doing the work to reduce or erase the convictions. In San Diego County, the district attorney and public defender have already reduced the records of 700 people, and have identified 4,000 more marijuana convictions dating back to the early 2000s that may qualify for relief.San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced last week that his office will be reviewing and seeking resentencing of nearly 5,000 pot felonies and dismissing roughly 3,000 misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1975.These are not hardened criminals or drug traffickers. Proposition 64 says someone with a conviction for simple possession can have that record erased. Felony convictions for possession or sales can be reduced to misdemeanors, as long as the person doesn't have a violent background, multiple convictions or a conviction for selling to minors.Gascón said he decided to take action because only 23 petitions for Proposition 64 expungement or resentencing had been filed in San Francisco since the initiative passed. He also sees automatic case review as a way to help rectify the injustices and disparities in how marijuana laws had been enforced. Even after the state largely decriminalized marijuana possession, roughly half the people arrested for marijuana crimes in San Francisco were African Americans, even though they made up just 6% of the city's population.San Francisco is by no means unique. For decades, the war on drugs was disproportionately fought in low-income and minority communities. Despite national surveys showing that whites and blacks use marijuana at approximately the same rates, blacks have over the years been nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. In California, studies conducted before Proposition 64's passage found Latinos were two to three times more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for marijuana crimes than non-Latino whites.If California is serious about repairing the damage created by the war on drugs, then every district attorney in the state ought to follow San Francisco and San Diego's example. So should the city attorneys who handle misdemeanor prosecutions. Yes, it would be labor-intensive. Los Angeles County has about 40,000 felony convictions involving marijuana since 1993, and Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said she wants to develop a system to prioritize marijuana conviction review for those who need it most, such as individuals applying for jobs.If D.A.'s won't act — and frankly, they are best positioned to do so — the Legislature should consider having the courts systematically provide the relief that Proposition 64 makes available. Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) has introduced legislation that signals his intent to do just that (Assembly Bill 1793). If lawmakers go that route, however, they would have to supply the underfunded court system with the budget necessary to conduct the reviews the proposition requires, such as determining which convictions were eligible for reduction or dismissal.It's cruel to allow people to continue to suffer the penalties of a conviction for marijuana-related acts that the state no longer considers a crime. The war on marijuana was a mistake, and the sooner California alleviates the damage done, the better for all Californians.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Published: February 6, 2018Copyright: 2018 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 09, 2018 at 05:33:34 PT
You're welcome. The one thing I am noticing that the more the push to take us backwards the more people in power stand up for reform. It's almost impossible to shame politicians who only cater to lobbyists but slowly they are.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 08, 2018 at 19:59:19 PT
Comment 4 FoM
Thank you, FoM. I appreciate it. It's so hard to understand. It's so hard to know so little has been accomplished here in such a long, long time. I am glad about that dog though. That's great. Prohibitionists have caused so much death, suffering and pain. How dare they? But they do, don't they? And they are so hard to stop.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 08, 2018 at 05:11:06 PT
Thank you for sharing your story and times are a changin.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 08, 2018 at 05:10:06 PT
I am so sorry. I know the feeling. It might have helped my son and my sister too. One good thing now is Charlotte's Web is helping to keep one of my pups I sold almost 3 years ago a live. He was at death's door with a fatal immune disease from over vaccinations and he is putting on weight now. Since he start CW he has put on 12 lbs and is playful and happy. He spent days in ICU at Ohio State University Hospital and the owner asked about it and the Vets said they don't know if it will help but they were sure it wouldn't hurt him. Now I am also an advocate for top quality CBD oils for dogs that need it.
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Comment #3 posted by Kaz on February 07, 2018 at 15:29:31 PT:
Cannabis resurgent
Good to know that at last the hemp/marijuana industry is coming back to life after decades of inexcusable stupidity, prejudice, and misery. About 15 years ago I offered to teach at TVI/CNM in Albuquerque a course in hemp/marijuana politics, but was turned down--not by the administration--but by my colleagues, who of all the people in New Mexico should not have been bamboozled by infantile, vindictive, corporate propaganda. But the times they are a-changin'. 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on February 07, 2018 at 15:10:15 PT
I had an extremely sad memory a day or so ago.
Let me share it with you please.Most of you know I live in Texas. I had a memory, a few days ago, a recollection about a neighbor. It was sad. It's always been a sad memory. Then suddenly, to my dismay, it was even sadder.This neighbor was part of an old family with lots of land and many children and was well known in the community. With about 7 children still at home, and in his early middle age, he was struck hard by cancer. He was suffering. Dying, in fact. Someone had heard that marijuana might help his excruciating nausea. They only knew of one place that might help them get some marijuana for her husband. The police. Some, maybe, they had confiscated and were going to burn anyway. It wouldn't hurt to ask.His wife went and asked them. They said "No". Eventually, he died.Suffering. Bereavement. Helplessness to help.That was about fifty-two or three years ago. Over fifty years ago!How, Dear God, can that be?
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 06, 2018 at 17:08:08 PT
Denver cannabiz-focused credit union gets OK from Federal Reserve — with conditionsThe decision marks another milestone in The Fourth Corner Credit Union's nearly four-year effort to provide financial services to the cannabis industry
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