Illinois recently became the eleventh state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana and governor J.B. Pritzker is reacting by making an announcement that will allow thousands of people to start off 2020 with a fresh start.
This week, Governor Pritzker announced that he has pardoned more than 11,000 people who had low-level marijuana convictions.
“We are ending the 50-year-long war on cannabis,” Pritzker said, via the Associated Press. “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.”
The misdemeanor offenses will be cleared from the people’s records and more pardons could be on the way.
There are approximately 116,000 convictions involving less than 30 grams of marijuana and all of the people will be eligible for pardons. The Illinois State Police will send the records to the Prison Review Board which will allow the process to begin.
For anyone who has a conviction involving between 30 grams and 500 grams could also have their records cleared by filing a petition.
“The 11,017 pardons that Gov. Pritzker is granting today are thousands of lives forever changed—and hundreds of thousands more will be changed in the coming months,” said former state senator Toi Hutchinson. “Those who were unfairly targeted by discriminatory drug laws can finally get ahead and build a new future for themselves and their families.”
The new marijuana laws in Illinois officially go into effect on Wednesday, January 1.