Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx took the first step toward wiping more than 1,000 marijuana convictions off the books, appearing at a court hearing Wednesday afternoon to call for the expungement of low-level cannabis convictions.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reports, the move is part of Illinois’ new recreational marijuana law, which legalizes weed in the state on Jan. 1, 2020. People who have been convicted of possessing less than 30 grams of weed prior to the law’s passage will have their records referred for pardon, as long as their offense was nonviolent, according to ABC 7.
The vacated offenses are a key part in ensuring that the state’s legalization push also attempts to redress decades of drug policy that disproportionately punished the black community.
“As a prosecutor who has previously prosecuted these cases, we must own our role in the harm we have caused, particularly to communities of color, and we must actively work to play our part in reversing those harms,” Foxx said.