Happy New Year! Illinois governor pardons more than 11,000 marijuana convictions

Demorat Governor JB Pritzker

From MyFoxChicago: Illinois’ governor granted more than 11,000 pardons for low-level marijuana convictions on Tuesday, describing the step as a first wave of thousands of such expungements anticipated under the state’s new marijuana legalization law.

The expungement process is a key part of the law, which takes effect Wednesday and made Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana for people 21 or older. When they crafted the policy, Illinois lawmakers said they wanted to repair some of the damage caused by law enforcement’s efforts to combat sale and use of the drug, particularly in minority communities.

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker announced the pardons at a church on Chicago’s South Side. He said clearing the misdemeanor offenses from individuals’ records will make it easier for them to get jobs, housing and financial aid for college.

State officials estimate that 116,000 convictions involving 30 grams or less of marijuana, including for possession of the drug, are eligible for pardons under the new law. Illinois State Police are responsible for identifying those convictions and sending the records to the state’s Prisoner Review Board, which then forwarded eligible cases to the governor’s office for pardons.

Pritzker’s pardons allow the state’s attorney general to ask courts to formally clear or seal the records.

“We are ending the 50-year-long war on cannabis,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans. We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market. And we are creating a new industry that puts equity at its very core.”

Other states that have begun permitting marijuana’s sale and use created procedures for people to expunge minor drug offenses, but Illinois officials wanted the process to be almost automatic for people with non-violent marijuana arrests or convictions on their records.

“We know that Black Illinois residents are far more likely to be arrested and convicted for marijuana possession than whites,” said Ben Ruddell, criminal justice policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “This is a good step forward as we begin the legal sales of recreational marijuana.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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William
William
9 months ago

Once I might have applauded this but it’s just feel-good nonsense. “Black Illinois residents are far more likely to be arrested and convicted for marijuana possession than whites,”. Ya think.? Pot arrests are in most cases just toe-holds for police and prosecutors to hold people so that they have time to build cases for other more serious offenses. And blacks are far more likely to commit crimes, especially violent crimes, than whites. It is what it is. But let’s just turn them all loose so they can get financial aid for college. 2020 is going to be a wild ride… Read more »

William
William
9 months ago
Reply to  DCG

Well, Seattle, I expect infinity stoopid from them. Racis’ policing..whatever. But abolish police AND confiscate our means of self-defense..what could go wrong?

William
William
9 months ago
Reply to  DCG

But yes, this is amazing. Astounding

Jackie Puppet
9 months ago

Hey! I can finally light up some joints!

But I have to do it outdoors, since my landlord doesn’t allow smoking in the house; nor is it legal to do it in public, like on my front porch, where I relax a lot during the summer. It might give kids the wrong idea…

I can go in the backyard, but sometimes kids will be going by in the alley, or even play there.

What am I to do? 🤨🤔

Cornell
Cornell
9 months ago
Reply to  Jackie Puppet

Baked goods or vape!

William
William
9 months ago
Reply to  Jackie Puppet

Just crack a beer. But remember – enjoy responsibly

Alma
Alma
9 months ago

I loooooove his name, say it fast and it sounds like a prick(ster) to me, or isn’t he? He is another contributor to delinquency, and all that is bad.

Jackie Puppet
9 months ago
Reply to  Alma

I’ve always referred to him by his initials: Fat Fuck JB