It’s been more than two years since Illinois legalized recreational cannabis, and more than 15,000 cannabis-related expulsions have now been completed.
Cook State Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) Announced April 20 It completed its goal of completing the Cannabis Delisting Project, an effort that sought to clear Illinois residents’ records of any cannabis-related crimes. Co-leader of this effort was attorney Kim Fox Twitter That on April 22, the office will submit an additional 214 cases to be automatically written off, for a total of 15,191, bringing the project to completion.
Foxx also issued a statement addressing the importance of working on uninstall programs. “Felony charges can affect every aspect of a person’s life, from jobs to housing, long after the debt has been repaid to society,” Fox said. “I am proud to work with defenders, Code for Americathe office of the Chief Justice, the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk, and the Illinois State Police, we have been able to bring relief to many individuals so that they, their families, and their communities can move forward.”
There are still 588 definitive cases related to cannabis, some dating back to 1965, that do not contain enough data for immediate erasure. at press releasethe CCSAO indicated that they are working with the state to examine those cases in more detail.
Overall, Foxx added “[T]It is much more than just easing the condemnation of thousands of individuals. It is about rebuilding trust in the criminal justice system.”
Foxx began to explore what was necessary to search for erasure again April 2019. In June 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed the state’s Recreational Cannabis Act, which also immediately eliminated the delisting of 800,000 residents whose records were marked with small-scale cannabis possession.
at August 2019Foxx and CCSAO announced that they are collaborating with Code for America to begin eliminating any possession fee of up to 30 grams. “Prosecutors are part of the war on drugs, and we were part of a larger ecosystem that believed that for the sake of public safety, these were convictions that had to be earned,” Fox said. “In the interest of hindsight and consideration of the impact of the war on drugs, prosecutors must also be at the negotiating table to ensure that past wrongs are corrected.”
Foxx made the first suggestions for erasing in December 2019 To start the process proactively through Cannabis Regulation and Tax Actwhich went into effect on January 1, 2020. Soon after, the pandemic caused the closure of courts that did not resume until later in 2020.
At the time, some local police were not supportive of removing cannabis convictions from people’s records. Fraternal Order of Police Forum 7, President Kevin Graham (who at the time ran over 10,000 officers in Chicago) expressed his opposition to freeing people from their past beliefs. He said, “Even if the law changed, it does not change the fact that these people knew they were breaking the law, and they were arrested and convicted again ignoring the hard work of the police officers, who may have been injured while arresting these perpetrators,” he said. . in 2019.
Graham is no longer in this position as of 2020, when he lost his re-election bid and was replaced by former President John Catanzara in 2020 (who later resigned in November 2021). It was Graham suspended for three years In 2020 after leaving a hidden camera in Catanzara’s office.
The Illinois cannabis industry has come a long way, and its success has been demonstrated in sales data that has consistently increased over time. In 2021, cannabis sales in Illinois will double compared to revenue collected in 2020 Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Report It is noteworthy that entertainment sales amounted to $669 million in 2020, and $1,379,088,278 during 2021.