Opinions

Dismissed marijuana convictions are long overdue

The dismissal of marijuana convictions was past due, after California legalized marijuana in 2016.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced on Monday that he was moving to dismiss roughly 60,000 marijuana convictions.

This move should’ve been done as soon as California passed Proposition 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana, in 2016.

The cannabis industry is advertised as a profitable and popularized market, so why are people still facing years in prison for small amounts of weed?

More people were arrested for cannabis in 2019 than for all violent crimes put together. The data from the FBI’s report revealed that police arrested 545,602 people for cannabis related crimes in 2019. That arrest rate is 9% higher than the 495,871 people arrested for violent crimes the same year.

These numbers are outrageous and crazy to think that there’s more of an emphasis to arrest more people for marijuana use than to try to solve and arrest people who have committed violent crimes. Marijuana arrests are also twice as high as cocaine and heroin arrests, which are both more addictive and deadly.

Approximately one in five adults between the age of 18-25 use marijuana which is about 19.8% of the population.

Possession of a single joint shouldn’t result in jail time, simple as that.

Much bigger crimes are being committed. Arresting someone for possession of marijuana should not be prioritized. The way that marijuana is glorified in today’s society, it still shouldn’t be viewed as something taboo or polarizing. It should be viewed as something normal, an everyday thing if you will.

The dismissal of marijuana cases is a big step in the right direction.

This move will allow people who have been convicted for marijuana-related charges to be have greater opportunities to succeed.

Seeing a jail sentence in your background check isn’t always a great look, but finding out it’s for possession of something that’s sold and distributed legally might take them by surprise.

I think we all know someone who use marijuana and I know we wouldn’t want them to go to jail over something as little as that. Moving to dismiss convictions for marijuana arrest is a bright spot of our society starting to view marijuana as a normalized entity, this is only a small step for a huge leap and hopefully in the serval years to come there can be even more arrest charges dismissed.

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