Illinois: Governor Issues Over 11,000 Pardons Ahead of Marijuana Legalization

Illinois: Governor Issues Over 11,000 Pardons Ahead of Marijuana Legalization

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker today issued over 11,000 pardons to those with low-level marijuana convictions. The action came on the eve of the enactment of legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis sales.

“As one of the authors of this historic law, I am so proud to witness equity being put into practice today,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Control. “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. Those who were unfairly targeted by discriminatory drug laws can finally get ahead and build a new future for themselves and their families.”

Under the new law, state-licensed retailers may provide up to 30 grams of cannabis to those over the age of 21. Those who are visiting from out of state may purchase 15 grams of cannabis.

The law also enacts several other changes. Specifically, it permits qualified patients for the first time to engage in the home cultivation of up to five plants, while decriminalizing home grows for non-patients. The law also establishes procedures for the automatic expungement of low-level minor convictions (possession up to 30 grams) and facilitates a process for the expungement of cases involving the possession of up to 500 grams. An estimated 700,000 convictions are eligible for relief under the law.