Chicago Prosecutors Expunge Additional 214 Cannabis Convictions

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On Friday (April 22), the Cook County State Attorney's Office announced it would be wiping the criminal records of 200 people with cannabis convictions, ABC 7 News Chicago reported.

Those 200 additional expunged records will be added to the more than 15,000 cannabis convictions that it has already cleared since the state of Illinois legalized recreational marijuana use in 2020.

"Felony charges can affect every aspect of a person's life, from jobs to housing, long after the debt to society has been paid," Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx said in a statement.

"I am proud that by working with advocates, Code for America, the Chief Judge's Office, the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the Illinois State Police we were able to bring relief for so many individuals so that they, their families, and their communities can move forward."

The Attorney's Office still has about 600 cases it's researching before clearing, the news outlet reported. Some of those cases date back as far as 1965.

"This is so much more than conviction relief for thousands of individuals," Foxx said. "This is about rebuilding trust in the criminal justice system."

Chicago joins several cities and states working to expunge cannabis convictions including Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and more. As of 2021, only four states still have laws making any use of marijuana completely illegal.

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