Illinois: Governor Announces That Hundreds of Thousands of Cannabis-Related Convictions Have Been Expunged

Springfield, IL: Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that state officials in 2020 expunged the criminal records of an estimated half-million Illinois citizens previously convicted for marijuana-related crimes. The Governor signed legislation into law in 2019 legalizing the adult use and sale of cannabis, and also establishing a process of automatically reviewing and expunging past convictions.

The Governor said that the pace of the expungement process was well ahead of schedule. He also announced having personally pardoned over 20,000 low-level cannabis conviction records. Governors in several other states, including Colorado, Nevada, and Washington, similarly issued pardons to those with cannabis-specific convictions in 2020.

In California, state officials have also reviewed and expunged several hundred thousand past marijuana convictions over the past two years. California and Illinois are among more than a dozen states that have enacted legislation explicitly facilitating the expungement of marijuana-related convictions.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator.