CHICAGO (CBS)– The first steps to begin clearing marijuana convictions in Cook County starts today.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will personally file the first motions in court Wednesday.
Foxx has said the goal is to clear records automatically, especially when it comes to recent convictions.
First, the cases of marijuana possession of less than 30 grams qualify for automatic expungement, as long as they are not associated with violent crimes.
The county is partnering with an agency called “Code for America.” Their software has the ability to process about 10,000 records per minute.
Cook County will start by expunging the most recent marijuana convictions.
This means from Jan. 1 2013 Jan. 1 2020. Then the plan is to move backwards.
But Foxx said the process will be slower for older records that aren’t yet digitized.
The state’s special advisor on cannabis says the goal is to change the lives of those targeted by the war on drugs.
“People don’t take advantage of the expungement process because it’s hard. So we drew into this the automatic level that’s the number one thing because again we’re concentrating specifically on cannabis,” Toi Hutchinson, special advisor to governor on cannabis control, said.
The same program Cook County is using has worked successfully in California.