New York and Illinois both passed new legislation that will lead to Over 1 million cannabis-related cases being expunged. Illinois joined the 10 other states that have legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, June 25th, while New York passed a bill decriminalizing small amounts on June 20th.
The new law in New York will enable individuals to avoid criminal penalties for holding less than two ounces of weed. Although it’s not recreationally legal, the decriminalization of marijuana in New York will help 900,000 low-level marijuana cases over the past 20 years to be expunged.
The law in Illinois permits a resident adult to buy and have on their person up to 30 grams as well as purchase marijuana edibles. Money gathered from the sales tax of marijuana, which is dependent on the potency, will first go toward expunging approximately 770,000 criminal cases. After that is finished the money will be rerouted to mental health services, drug treatment and enforcement programs, and the state’s general fund.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker hopes legalization and expungement will continue to change a system that disproportionately targets minorities. State regulators will also allow priority to minority individuals seeking out business licenses for growing marijuana. Illinois marijuana sales will begin January 1, 2020