As Illinois Legalizes Marijuana, Cook County Prosecutor Vacates Over 1,000 Low-Level Cannabis Convictions

Recreational cannabis use for consumers ageds 21 and older will become legal in Illinois Jan. 1 

Ahead of the new law taking effect, Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx filed motions Wednesday to vacate more than 1,000 low-level convictions, according to a Wednesday press release.

The convictions that were vacated Wednesday were for nonviolent possession of cannabis under 30 grams. The charges are being dismissed for good, as if they never occurred. 

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said it administers around 19,000 petitions for conviction relief each year, and on Wednesday it handled over 1,000 convictions in one court call.

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“Today, we made history and took the first step in the single largest and most equitable piece of criminal justice reform Illinois has ever seen,” Foxx said in a statement. 

“As prosecutors who implemented these convictions, we must own our role in the harm they have caused — particularly in communities of color — and play our part in reversing them. Clearing records is not only a critical part of righting the wrongs of the failed war on drugs, but an intentional step to give people the chance to move forward, which benefits all of our communities.”

Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement that although the damage from the war on drugs can never be fully erased, the state can be governed going forward "with the courage to admit the mistakes of our past — and the decency to correct the record and set a better path forward."

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Posted In: CannabisNewsLegalMarketsChicagoCook CountyIllinoisKim Foxx
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