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Expungment of Pot Convictions Begins in Cook County

Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberley Foxx made good her promise to clear the court records of those convicted of marijuana offenses, filing motions in the first 1,000 of what officials say could be as many as 700,000 cases ahead of legalization of the drug for recreational use. Calling the effort the most equitable justice reform in county history, Foxx personally read 100 of the names in a press ceremony. The County receives around 19,000 requests for conviction relief annually, with the one-day output amounting to around two-thirds of the total handled each month. Foxx vowed the undertaking in January and in August said she’d elisted non-profit technology partner called Code for America to assist.

Gov. J.B. Pritziker, who made signing the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law a priority upon taking office in January, also attended. Illinois will become the 11th US state to legalize the possession and consumption of small amounts of marijuana on New Year’s Day. As part of what he termed the courage to admit mistakes, the Democrat is fast-tracking the applications of would-be distribution licensees for those convicted of misdemeanor possession. Records go back decaded and those whose records are expunged will be notifed by mail to their last known address on county rolls.