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Seattle to clear marijuana convictions


Seattle citizens with misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions who were prosecuted before recreational use of pot was legalized in Washington back in 2012 will soon have their records cleared, said Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes on Thursday.

Why it matters: While more states are moving towards legalization of recreational marijuana, criminal justice reform advocates have been pushing for prior marijuana convictions to be expunged. If the city court grants the request, an estimated 500 to 600 convictions dating back to 1977 will be overturned. Advocates have said that convictions have been a barrier for people seeking access to housing, jobs, education and government benefits and have disproportionately affected minorities.

Quote“People’s lives were ruined for misdemeanor marijuana offenses.  This action is a necessary first step in righting the wrongs of the past and putting our progressive values into action.”
— Durkan said in a statement

The backdrop: Seattle’s move comes a week after San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said he will retroactively expunge or reduce misdemeanor and felony marijuana convictions of more than 3,000 people, dating back to 1975.

Lauren Meier 1 hour ago
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Facebook's growing problems

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Facebook is caught in the middle of a rapidly unfolding scandal over Cambridge Analytica's improper gathering of data on millions of users, and what that exposed about the company's data collection. The fiasco has drawn the interest of lawmakers and regulators and rekindled the debate over its role in the 2016 presidential election.

Why it matters: The bad headlines continued to pile up; "A hurricane flattens Facebook" said Wired, "Silicon Valley insiders think that Facebook will never be the same" per Vanity Fair, "Facebook is facing its biggest test ever — and its lack of leadership could sink the company" from CNBC, and — as we've yet to hear from the company's top leaders — "Where is Mark Zuckerberg?" asks Recode.

Dave Lawler 8 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.