Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) closed out 2020 by expunging practically 500,000 non-felony cannabis-related information, an motion mandated by Illinois’ marijuana legalization legislation that went into impact a 12 months in the past.
As a part of the motion, the governor additionally pardoned 9,219 low-level hashish conviction information, a part of the state’s efforts to restore the harm inflicted by the warfare on medicine ― totally on residents of coloration.
“We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of the damage in communities of color, who have disproportionately shouldered this burden,” Pritzker stated Thursday in an announcement saying the expungements. “But we can govern with the courage to admit the mistakes of our past — and the decency to set a better path forward.”
Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which legalized hashish within the state, required the federal government to expunge 47,000 cannabis-related arrest information created between 2013 and 2019 by Jan. 1, 2021.
In a singular twist, the legislation additionally created a program that reinvests 25% of hashish tax income right into a fund for youth improvement, anti-violence applications, re-entry applications, financial improvement and civil authorized help companies for “R3 communities” ― these coping with excessive charges of gun violence, little one poverty and incarceration charges.
With Thursday’s motion, the state additionally met a separate January 2025 deadline to expunge all 492,192 state-level information.
However, solely 9 of the state’s 201 counties have completed clearing their very own non-felony cannabis-related arrest information.
In a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, state Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D) stated the expungements are encouraging, but finally incremental.
“Dismantling decades’ worth of criminal justice atrocities will take years. That’s evidenced by how this country handles cannabis,” she stated. “We must never stop chipping away at that painful history. I’m proud of these critical first steps.”
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