Effort to Clear Low-Level Cannabis Convictions in Illinois Gains Traction

State legislatures across the U.S. are wrapping up their work for the season. But lawmakers in Illinois are working to get a bill in under the wire that would allow folks to expunge prior misdemeanor cannabis convictions from their records. Illinois decriminalized cannabis possession up to 10 grams in 2016, and the law went into effect on July 29. The bill lawmakers are proposing would make all convictions and guilty pleas that are at least three years old eligible for expungement. While not as progressive as expungement efforts in other states, Illinois hopes their approach will restore employment opportunities to those most impacted by the over-criminalization of cannabis.

Lawmaker Says Illinois Can’t Overlook Damage of Over-Criminalization

Illinois HB 2367 got its start in 2017 as an attempt to amend the Criminal Identification Act. Lawmakers introduced the bill to allow for the sealing of criminal records of convictions for non-violent offenses 10 years after a person serves their sentence. But it was on the eve of 4/20 of this year that lawmakers added Amendment 7 to the bill. Amendment 7 came out of the work of the Illinois General Assembly’s Restorative Justice Committee. The amendment paves the way for anyone with

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