Los Angeles Prosecutors To Expunge More Than 50,000 Cannabis Convictions

When California passed Proposition 64 in 2016, it gave people with certain cannabis convictions the opportunity to have them erased, though there has been an underwhelming number of people who have taken advantage of the chance to clean their record due to the complexity of the process.

“Frankly, very few people took the legal action to clear their records,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey at a press conference on Monday. “And yet, the will of the voters was clear.”

But technology is providing now some assistance to people with cannabis convictions in Los Angeles County, whether they’ve made efforts to have them erased or not.

On Monday, prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties announced a partnership with San Francisco-based non-profit organization, Code for America (CFA) to automatically dismiss more than 50,00 convictions for cannabis offenses that are no longer illegal under Prop 64.

CFA aided San Francisco earlier this year with an algorithm called Clear My Record that can, in a matter of seconds, scan through thousands of documents for eligible cases, fill out the required forms, and create motions in PDF format that are ready to be filed in court.

It is unclear how far back the convictions in Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties may go, but once they are identified, a district attorney must present them in court so a judge can finalize their expungements.

There are currently around 50,000 cannabis convictions in Los Angeles County and more than 4,000 in San Joaquin.