Long Beach, California 2021-10-22 18:20:44 –
Despite the legalization of recreational cannabis in California in 2016, many are still confident in their records due to unethical and racist legal practices.
Fortunately, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced on September 27, 2021 that he would dismiss nearly 60,000 of these convictions in order to reverse the country’s harsh and outdated war on drugs. Did.
By dismissing these unjustified beliefs, many are aiming for a brighter future by being able to find better jobs, homes and other services that were previously rejected by them for their records. prize.
One of the main reasons the dismissal of these convictions is so important is that statistics show that they affect people of color disproportionately.
A 2010 ACLU study found that usage was about the same, but blacks were about four times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than whites across the country. In some states, such as Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Washington, DC, arrests were 7.5 to 8.5 times more likely.
This means that due to their recorded cannabis convictions, colored races are much more likely to be at a disadvantage when finding a good job or home.
This is especially bad for communities that are already facing prejudice when finding good jobs and homes because of the racist practices that still exist in the United States.
For example, gentrification in urban areas drives people of color out of their homes for profit. Practices like redlining can be used to deny various services such as loans and insurance to low-income communities.
Cannabis convictions also result in wasting billions of dollars that could be better spent. The ACLU claims that the state spends an average of $ 3.6 billion annually by enforcing the law solely on cannabis. This money could be spent on public transport, infrastructure, education, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.
In addition, many people use marijuana not only for recreational purposes, but also for medicinal purposes. According to the Mayo Clinic, marijuana can be used to help with the symptoms of many illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, HIV / AIDS, and chronic pain.
Even with the proven benefits of marijuana, its medical use is legal only in 36 states and can be very punishable if used in other states. People who live in such states and use marijuana to help treat their illness are prosecuted to the same extent as those who use it entertainingly.
Cannabis is also considered a “Schedule 1 drug” by the US Drug Enforcement Department. This means that cannabis is claimed to be as powerful as heroin and LSD. These have been shown to cause serious neurological damage.
These overly strict cannabis laws we see in the country today stem from Richard Nixon’s presidency and his declaration of the “war on drugs.”
The war on drugs has created many laws, and has created the hysteria and prejudice against cannabis users that is still seen today, including the Controlled Substances Act, which falsely states that cannabis is highly addictive and ineffective.
Gascon’s plan to eliminate 60,000 cannabis convictions in LA County is certainly a good place to start. However, there is a lot to do.
It’s time for the government to stop crimes for cannabis users and start helping cannabis users achieve clean records by providing appropriate legal petitions to cannabis users. The sooner we clear people’s past cannabis convictions, the more they can get their lives back on track.