The day before Illinois’s legal marijuana sales began earlier this year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) pardoned thousands of people who had previously been convicted of cannabis possession. On Tuesday, he said that more acts of cannabis clemency are on the way and that he is pushing more broadly for “decriminalizing minor non-violent offenses” and instituting “a public health approach” to drugs.
“Through the law legalizing cannabis, Governor Pritzker has already pardoned over 11,000 individuals for low-level cannabis offenses, and more are expected over the coming months,” his office said. “Through these pardons, thousands of families are no longer prohibited from having access to human services, financial aid for school, professional licensing, jobs, and housing.”
The announcement came at the end of a press release on steps the governor’s administration is planning to take to foster a “more equitable criminal justice system.”