Calif. prosecutors partner with tech non-profit to erase over 60K marijuana convictions

FILE – In this Dec. 27, 2018 file photo a grower attends to a crop of young marijuana plants in Gardena, Calif. Los Angeles-area prosecutors are joining other district attorneys to use technology to wipe out or reduce as many as 66,000 old marijuana convictions years after California voters broadly legalized the drug. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, file)

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UPDATED 9:00 AM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020

A California district attorney has partnered up with a tech company to dismiss thousands of marijuana convictions in Los Angeles County.

A judge granted requests from District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office Thursday to erase 66,000 misdemeanor and felony cannabis-related charges dating back to 1961.

County prosecutors partnered with the non-profit tech company ‘Code for America,’ whose algorithm was used to locate records of eligible cases and fill out forms for the courts. The process will offer conviction relief for 53,000 people and Lacey wants to take it one step further.

“We’re making a motion because we realized that’s the issue,” said the district attorney. “When you go to apply for a job, you go to apply for housing and your record comes up even though we expunged it — that may not give you help.”

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 file photo, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a discussion in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

This comes four years after California voters passed Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana. A bill was also passed in 2018 that requires the state’s Justice Department to analyze convictions that may be eligible for removal.

All county prosecutors have until July of this year to review these cases.

RELATED: More pain in store for Canadian marijuana companies after Aurora Cannabis, Tilray cut jobs

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