Market Date:27 May, 2020

More than 1,000 Marijuana Convictions to become Vacated by Chicago Prosecutor

The prosecutor to the largest county in Illinois filed moves on Wednesday to vacate over 1000 low-level marijuana convictions, kicking off the process of clearing tens of thousands of reports, reports the Associated Press.

The motions were filed by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, which re being dubbed as the initial step in a strategy to expunge convictions for possession of less than 30 g of marijuana, then permanently eliminate them from criminal records. The move comes only days prior to marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on January 1. Foxx introduced the very first of this petitions to Chief Judge Timothy Evans at a courtroom about the Chicago’s Southwest Side, notes that the AP. Evans allowed the petition to expunge the exemptions out of court documents.

“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. The attempt to expunge documents in small marijuana cases is necessary by the Cannabis Legislation and Tax Act” Technology developed with a non-profit firm named Code For America is currently being used everywhere, most notably in California, to clear thousands of convictions”, says the AP. “Foxx’s office will use the same technology to evaluate eligibility and remove minor marijuana convictions from people’s records at no cost to them and, in many cases, without their knowledge. The defendants will be notified by the court clerk’s office via email or by a letter that the convictions have been expunged.”

Individuals whose instances are being expunged include “those who were convicted of misdemeanors, or Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony in Illinois. Anyone convicted of possessing more than 30 grams must apply individually if they want to have their records expunged.”

“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,” said Foxx, who’s running for re-election from a crowded field of candidates.