Illinois governor issues 11,000-plus pardons for cannabis-related offences a day before state legalization

Unlike in Canada, individuals with such convictions will not have to apply for a pardon.

The governor of Illinois has granted pardons for more than 11,000 residents convicted of low-level, non-violent, cannabis-related convictions.

The expungements, which Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has described as the first step towards further eradicating thousands of similar convictions, came just one day before the drug became legal for adults aged 21 and older in the state on Jan. 1, 2020.

The process of clearing the convictions was a central aspect in the architecture of the state’s legalization of the drug. Legislators prioritized the mitigation of some of the harms caused by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, which disproportionately affected marginalized communities such as racial minorities and residents with lower incomes.

By Emma Spears – The Growth OP
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