The Los Angeles County district attorney has announced that they are erasing some 50,000 marijuana-related convictions from record in a bid to help people move on from mistakes of their past. The initiative was done in collaboration with the non-profit tech organization Code for America to aid erring residents prepare for a better future.

In a statement, district attorneys Tori Verber Salazar of San Joaquin County and Jackie Lacey of Los Angeles County said that helping clear the path of those with marijuana-related records can help them secure a job or benefit from other programs that may otherwise have been unavailable.

The pilot program recognizes convictions that qualify for either dismissal or resentencing under Proposition 64, a measure approved in November 2016 to legalize the possession of marijuana in California.

In addition to providing a clean slate, LA County board supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said that the project presents an opportunity to right the racial disparities in cannabis-linked arrests and convictions over the past decades. He cited Code of America’s Clear My Record initiative, which was created to ensure that those who have been disproportionately affected by anti-drug efforts are given a second chance.

There are reportedly around 54,000 marijuana convictions between the two mentioned counties that are qualified for the program. Clear My Record’s algorithm can help local governments hasten the record expungement process. This is not the first time that the group has aided counties in clearing cannabis records. In February this year, San Francisco County as able to successfully delete over 8,100 convictions from its records.

The use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 33 states, while 11 (including Washington D.C.) approve its recreational use. The organization hopes to expunge around 250,000 convictions all over the country by the end of 2019.

Marijuana Users
The Los Angeles County district attorney has announced that they are erasing some 50,000 marijuana-related convictions from record in a bid to help people move on from mistakes of their past. Pictured: A marijuana user wears marijuana leaf glasses during a 420 Day celebration on 'Hippie Hill' in Golden Gate Park Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
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