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Illinois is expunging marijuana convictions from nearly 800,000 criminal records

If you’ve been arrested for weed in Illinois, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker just signed HB 1438 this week, which makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over, along with sweeping criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state’s drug laws.
 
In addition to legalizing marijuana, the 610-page bill offers relief to the roughly 770,000 residents of the state with marijuana-related offenses on their criminal records, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
 
The state’s new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which takes effect in 2020, allows people to automatically receive clemency for convictions up to 30 grams of cannabis. Those convicted with larger amounts, from 30-500 grams can petition a court to have the charge lifted.
 
The bill defines expunge to mean to “physically destroy the records or return them to the petitioner and to obliterate the petitioner’s name from any official index or public record, or both.” But it doesn’t require the physical destruction of circuit court files. [Read more at CNN]
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