CHICAGO — The push to clear Chicagoans’ records of low-level marijuana convictions begins Wednesday.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will file motions to vacate 1,000 low-level cannabis convictions before Judge Timothy Evans on Wednesday afternoon at the Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.
Foxx will be joined by Gov. JB Pritzker, who will speak with her at a news conference after she files the motions.
Foxx’s office expects to clear thousands of low-level pot convictions from people’s records in the coming months.
Those with convictions don’t necessarily have to do anything to see their records vanish: The State’s Attorney’s Office is partnering with Code for America, a non-profit that will help the office use Clear My Record technology to more quickly seal certain cannabis convictions throughout Cook County.
The records can be sealed as part of Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which was signed into law in June. The law will go into effect in January, at which point Cook County will be able to expunge convictions for buying or possessing 30 grams or less of pot.
State’s attorneys’ offices can get a list of convictions that are eligible to be cleared from State Police. The offices will then review those lists and submit eligible convictions for final approval from the courts, according to Foxx’s office.
Advocates hope the effort can help tens of thousands of people begin their lives anew without the stigma of past convictions.