Illinois Legalizes Marijuana In A Game-Changing Way
Last Friday, Illinois became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through a legislative process — rather than through a ballot initiative like the 10 other states with legal recreational weed.
The law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
But that’s not all. The bill is the first to include some of restorative justice measures.
When the dispensary looks and operates like an Apple Store it’s time to release a lot of incarcerated human beings.
A lot, a lot.
— Cov Franchise (@BearCov) May 27, 2019
According to reporting by The Chicago Tribune, “the governor would pardon all misdemeanor offenses involving less than 30 grams, while convicts or prosecutors could petition in court to pardon and expunge records of convictions of up to 500 grams, which includes Class 4 felonies.
If a person’s minor marijuana arrest is still pending in court once the law takes effect, a person may petition to dismiss the charges and expunge all records of it. A person imprisoned solely for minor cannabis offenses shall be released if a court orders it.”
It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but it leads to some question. If recreational marijuana is going to be legal, why can’t all cannabis-related convictions be cleared? Who cares if it was 500 grams or 5,000 grams?
Also, why the limit on possession for individuals when corporations will surely be allowed to have pounds and pounds of product on hand?
Lastly, restorative justice is about more than releasing people from prison and wiping their records. What about families who were harmed by a relative going through harsh punishment for a cannabis crime? What about generational effects?
Still a long way to go, but at least we have a game-changing moment.
Stay positive, XOXO