As a new law is set to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Illinois, the state’s governor, J.B. Pritzker, announced that he was pardoning 11,000 people who had been jailed for low-level marijuana crimes.
“We are ending the 50-year-long war on cannabis,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans. We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market. And we are creating a new industry that puts equity at its very core.”
State officials estimate that around 116,000 people who were convicted of marijuana crimes involving less than 30 grams could be eligible for pardons under the new law. The Illinois State Police is working through the records and sending any cases to the state’s Prisoner Review Board. The review board will then look over the cases and determine if they should be sent to Pritzker’s desk for a pardon.