Illinois Expunges Nearly 500,000 Marijuana Arrest Records

Illinois state governance started the new year off right. Hours before 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that the state had expunged nearly 500,000 marijuana-related convictions.

As weed slowly becomes recreational across the country, numerous states have to decide whether to remain ethical or unethical when considering those with marijuana-related convictions. Many may choose to use Pritzker as an example, whose legislation also “paved the way for 770,000 state residents to be eligible for expunging marijuana-related offenses.”

According to The Hill, initially, Pritzker thought it would take at least 4-years to get the expungement process moving along. But, “We reached this milestone one year into what will be an ongoing effort to correct historic wrongdoings fueled by the war on drugs,” he tweeted.

“We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of the damage in communities of color, who have disproportionately shouldered this burden. But we can govern with the courage to admit the mistakes of our past — and the decency to set a better path forward.”

States along with Illinois that have come up with legislation to expunge or seal records include California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

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