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San Francisco to dismiss cases of marijuana convicts dating back to 1975

San Francisco to dismiss cases of marijuana convicts dating back to 1975

San Francisco is all set to execute the new marijuana laws passed by California. The implementation of this law will bring a huge relief to thousands of San Francisco marijuana convicts— dating back to 1975—slapped with misdemeanors and felony charges. A recent announcement, made by District Attorney George Gascón, mentioned that more than 5,000 cases of marijuana convictions will be reopened and resentenced as per the new legislation — Proposition 64 — that would culminate in dismissing and reducing the sentences of over 3,000 erstwhile convicts. The move was welcomed by the people as convictions hinder people in finding employment and housing.

DA Gascón further said that despite passing of the law, it is not going to be easy for convicts to approach the court as the process is lengthy. Many people would not know the process or would not be conversant with the nuances this new legislation entails. Hence, rather than waiting for the people to act on their petition, the authorities have decided to take up the matters proactively. Although it is too early to predict the success of this model, one thing is sure that thousands of ex-convicts will heave a sigh of relief.

The legislation is a victory of sorts for San Franciscans, as 75 percent of its population voted for marijuana legalization, the highest among the 58 counties of California. The district attorney’s office also said that only a meager 23 percent of the people filed petitions for the reduction of Proposition 64.

Giant leap by a liberal city

So, what does Proposition 64 bring to the table? Proposition 64 legalizes marijuana. According to the bill, Californians can possess and purchase cannabis up to an ounce, apart from cultivating (up to six plants) for personal use. This legislation also empowers earlier marijuana convicts to petition the court and request obliteration of their charges with an assurance that they would never pose a threat to public safety. They can even ask the court to convert some of their previous felony charges to misdemeanors and increase the possession amount to more than one ounce, if above the age of 18.

“While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead to undo the damage that this country’s disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular,” said Gascón in the statement.

According to a 2016 study, conducted by the data analytics firm New Frontier Data, there were gross anomalies and racial disparities among those jailed for marijuana-related offenses in California. Although consumption, possession and selling of weed were equally rampant among whites, Latinos and African-Americans, almost one-quarter of the people jailed for marijuana crimes were African-Americans.

Marijuana is addictive

Amid all the demands for legalizing medical and recreational marijuana in the United States, the fact remains that marijuana is an addictive substance. Ironically, marijuana is one of the most highly abused substances in the U.S. Prolonged use of marijuana can cause dependence, and before one realizes, it may become chronic and severe.

However, addiction to marijuana can be treated with the help of marijuana detox programs. Sovereign Health, the leading substance abuse treatment provider in the United States, has state-of-the-art marijuana detox centers at major locations across the country. If you have a loved one struggling with marijuana addiction and you are scouting for marijuana rehab centers, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives for quick assistance.

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