At a news conference on Tuesday, law enforcement officials from Illinois’ Cook County announced that they would be collaborating with Code For America to initiate expungement proceedings for possession charges of up to 30 grams of cannabis.
Here’s a quote from the announcement courtesy Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, which we hope is heard ‘round the world:
“It is prosecutors who were part of the war on drugs, we were part of a larger ecosystem that believed that in the interest of public safety, that these were convictions that were necessary to gain. In the benefit of hindsight and looking at the impact of the war on drugs, it is also prosecutors who have to be at the table to ensure that we are righting the wrongs of the past.”
Illinois legalized recreational marijuana two months ago, making it the first state in the US to regulate adult-use cannabis via the legislative process rather than voter referendum. The law will take effect on January 1, and officials are working to make sure that the legal system is in order for that date.
When he signed the bill into effect, Governor J.B. Pritzker said it would automatically expunge and pardon