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Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County is moving to dismiss nearly 60,000 marijuana convictions, an ongoing effort to reverse the "injustices of drug laws," District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday.

Why it matters: It comes more than four years after Californians voted to legalize the drug, and two years after state law tasked prosecutors to review the convictions.

  • About 20,000 of the convictions to be dismissed were for "felony possession or cultivation of marijuana," with some cases dating as far back as the 1970s, per the Los Angeles Times.
  • Roughly 66,000 cannabis convictions were dismissed in Los Angeles County last year, per the release. Gascón, acting as district attorney for San Francisco, had expunged more than 9,300 cases in 2019.

What they're saying: "Dismissing these convictions means the possibility of a better future to thousands of disenfranchised people who are receiving this long-needed relief," Gascón said in a statement.

  • "It clears the path for them to find jobs, housing and other services that previously were denied to them because of unjust cannabis laws," he added.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.