California moves to drop, cut pot convictions

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors in San Francisco and San Diego are moving to erase thousands of marijuana convictions en masse, a step that could prove life-changing for some.

Advocates say the actions could especially help minorities, who were more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana crimes. Activists are calling on more places to do the same.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon says his office would review nearly 5,000 felony convictions for possible reductions to misdemeanors. In addition, he said prosecutors will dismiss 3,000 misdemeanor convictions.

San Diego had previously undertaken a similar review after voters legalized marijuana and erased a list of pot-related crimes. The measure applies retroactively, making hundreds of thousands convictions eligible for dismissal or reduction.

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