San Francisco offers marijuana conviction amnesty
LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse
The city of San Francisco, one of the most liberal in the United States, is offering an amnesty for marijuana convictions dating back over 40 years, weeks after California legalized the drug.
California’s legalization of recreational marijuana took effect at the beginning of January, making the state the largest legal market for pot in the world.
“While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead to undo the damage that this country’s disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular,” said District Attorney George Gascon.
“Long ago we lost our ability to distinguish the dangerous from the nuisance, and it has broken our pocket books, the fabric of our communities, and we are no safer for it.
“A criminal conviction can be a barrier to employment, housing and other benefits, so instead of waiting for the community to take action, we’re taking action for the community,” he stressed.
Eight U.S. states including Colorado and the federal capital Washington have already legalized recreational marijuana use.
Thirty U.S. states and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana use.
Some states, however, still believe it is a “gateway” drug toward other, harder illegal drugs, such as heroin or cocaine.