Gavin Newsom, California’s Democratic Lt. Gov. for the past six years, was an early supporter of marijuana legalization. A candidate for governor in 2018, Newsom took to social media Thursday to express his support for ending marijuana prohibition as a means of “fixing a broken system.”
According to The Washington Post, California’s elected officials are “offering a second chance to people convicted of almost any marijuana crimes, from serious felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared or the charges sharply reduced.”
And that’s something Gavin Newsom strongly supports.
Legalizing marijuana is, at its core, about criminal justice reform. It's about ending the failed war on drugs and fixing a broken system that has disproportionately affected low-income and minority communities.
Proud of the work California is doing.https://t.co/vuhvPfAIm3
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 21, 2017
An August 2016 report generated by the Drug Policy Alliance indicates nearly half a million Californians were arrested for marijuana-related crimes between 2006 and 2015 – despite the state’s progressive marijuana laws.
These arrests created economic strife for many solid, hard-working Americans and left those with weed-related convictions to struggle with restricted access to educational, employment, and housing opportunities.
But with the passage of Proposition 64, some lucky Californians will benefit from the opportunity to have their past convictions “reclassified” under the state’s current law, according to the Post.
“Those who want their marijuana convictions lessened must present their cases in court. Prosecutors can decide not to support a reduction should someone have a major felony, such as murder, on their record. Old convictions will be reclassified under the law as it reads now. For example, if someone had been convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, that conviction would be tossed out because that is now legal in California.”
A front-runner to become California’s next governor on Nov. 6, 2018, Newsom has long embraced reforming the state’s antiquated marijuana laws and has actively lobbied for support from the industry’s stakeholders. As of July 2017, Newsom had collected over $317,000 in “cannabis-connected donations,” which was approximately $312,000 more than gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa.