The Democrat governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, issued more than 11,000 pardons for low-level marijuana convictions on Tuesday as part of a new law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the state.
Pritzker described the move as the first wave of thousands expected under the new law, which makes recreational marijuana use legal for those 21 and older.
He said the misdemeanor expungements would help those with marijuana convictions get aid to go to college, get jobs and find housing.
Officials said that 116,000 misdemeanor convictions for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana are eligible for expungement in the state under the new law.
State Police are tasked with identifying the cases eligible for pardons and forwarding them to the state’s Prisoner Review Board, which will issue the pardons.
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