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San Francisco DA's Office To Dismiss Thousands Of Pot Convictions

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- The San Francisco District Attorney's office announced Wednesday morning that thousands of pot convictions will be dismissed or reviewed in a push that comes now that recreational marijuana is legal.

San Francisco leaders gathered at a press conference Wednesday to say the review is a show of marrying political ideology with policy. Since marijuana is now legal for adult recreational use in California after the passage of Proposition 64, tens of thousands of people are eligible to have their court cases reviewed.

These are cases that were convicted back when pot was illegal. Up until now, those people had to apply to get their records expunged, often hiring an expensive lawyer to do so.

Now, in the city of San Francisco, the DA's office will be doing it automatically without people having to file any paperwork.

At the press conference late Wednesday morning, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said he'll be proactively dismissing misdemeanor cases and sealing the records of those that were convicted for marijuana offenses.

"We want to address the wrongs that were caused by the failures of the war on drugs for many years in this country and begin to fix the harm that was done, not only to the entire nation, but specifically to communities of color and many others," said Gascon.

San Francisco Supervisor for District 10 Malia Cohen praised Gascon for the move.

"It's this office that is leading the conversation across the entire country," said Cohen. "What we are here to celebrate and to share with you is the marrying of our political ideology finally in lockstep with our policy."

This will affect more than 3,000 misdemeanor convictions. More than 4,900 felonies will be reviewed and possibly resentenced to misdemeanors.

The process will start immediately with no court hearings or appearances and will all done proactively at the DA's office.

The city leaders gathered Wednesday also encouraged other cities to follow suit.

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