Illinois Governor Announces Half A Million Marijuana Expungements And Pardons

MJ moment

The governor of Illinois on Thursday announced more than 500,000 expungements and pardons for people with low-level marijuana offenses on their records. The massive clemency and records clearing sweep comes about one year after the state’s legal cannabis market launched. Prior to its implementation, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) granted an earlier round of more than 11,000 pardons for marijuana-related convictions. Today, I also pardoned 9,219 low-level cannabis conviction records, for a total of over 20,000 since the signing of Illinois' recreational cannabis legislation, the most equity-centric in the nation. — Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) December 31, 2020 The new effort saw slightly fewer gubernatorial pardons (9,219), but an additional 492,129 expungements for people convicted over non-felony cannabis offenses. The Illinois State Police helped facilitate the record clearing process. Illinois’s marijuana legalization law includes restorative justice components that require the state to proactively expunge certain cannabis convictions—but this development puts Illinois four years ahead of schedule. “Statewide, Illinoisans hold hundreds of thousands low-level cannabis-related records, a burden disproportionately shouldered by communities of color,” Pritzker said in a press release. “We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of that damage. But we can govern with the courage to admit the mistakes of our past—and the decency to set a better path forward.” “I applaud the Prisoner Review Board, the Illinois State Police, and our partners across the state for their extraordinary efforts that allowed these pardons and expungements to become a reality,” Pritzker, who alluded to the additional pardons in October, added. I applaud the Prisoner Review Board, the Illinois State Police, and our partners across the state for their extraordinary efforts that allowed these pardons and expungements to become a reality. — Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) December 31, 2020 Toi Hutchinson, a senior cannabis advisor to the governor,…

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