It’s hard to believe that people could once be put away for a long time and be considered criminals for even growing their own marijuana and using it. But the planet is changing, and as the medicinal benefits of cannabis become so blatantly obvious, the the criminalization of it becoming so ridiculous, the world, especially North America, is becoming way more lenient.

Illinois is the latest example, and they are expunging marijuana convictions from nearly 800,000 criminal records.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed HB 1438 this week, this makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over as well as sweeping criminal criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state’s drug laws.
Furthermore 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 will go into effect in 2020 and it allows people to 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.
So, at least we are making progress..
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.
Furthermore the bill includes a “social equity program,” which makes it easier for those with marijuana convictions to get business licenses. The program will¬† set aside $12 million for startup businesses related to cannabis, as well as funding for job training programs in the state’s cannabis industry.