District Attorney of San Francisco has forgiven the criminal penalties dating back decades, which is a direct result of the 2016 ballot in California that legalized recreational use.
This decision will dismiss nearly 3,000 cases and put another 5,000 felony cases under review. When Proposition 64 had legalized the recreational use of cannabis, those who were convicted were given an opportunity to petition. The courts could pardon or reduce penalties of the applicants.
But, as the petitioning became time consuming, District Attorney George Gascon realized that there was a need for a mass expulsion of cases. He now says that, after this landmark decision, cases right from 1975 to November 2016 would be reviewed & expunged.
Based on the decision by the DA and considering that 5,000 convicts have already applied for pardon, prison numbers for cannabis-related crimes will reduce massively. Estimates are that as many as 100,000 are eligible for appeals.
This retroactive dismissal would lead to a positive approval of the judiciary in California. It could, in the future, even snowball to industrial developments in hemp production.
After last week’s updates that the U.S. Judiciary is halting an Obama-era policy to let go of prosecutions before state-wise Cannabis legalization, this pardon is a much-needed boost to Cannabis’ cause. It would invite the much-hyped agenda of California’s politicians of industrializing hemp. After the retail boom of Cannabis which could further expand after vending machines come in, pardoning of convicts is a green signal for industrial investment in Cannabis.
It remains to be seen how soon the convicts in custody are able to free themselves. If current progress is an indicator, it’s not far before most of San Francisco prisons are free of Cannabis convicts.
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