On January 14, 2019, Illinois will have a new governor that has advocated for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. In addition to Governor Pritzker, the state will have a Democratically-held legislature, meaning that Illinois will likely see significant changes in its laws regarding marijuana in the near future. One new bill that is currently circulating Springfield could impact those convicted of marijuana-related offenses sooner rather than later.
In 2016, Illinois lawmakers decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, making possession a civil matter rather than criminal. It did not however, address what would happen to those who had already been convicted of the crime. This new bill would allow an individual to petition a judge to expunge their record of a marijuana possession offense that occurred before July 29, 2016 if three years or more have passed since the person completed their sentence.
The bill’s goal is to help nonviolent offenders clear their name with the hope that it will allow them to have a better chance of finding employment. By expunging their record, individuals would again be able to inform prospective employers that their record is clean. This bill, along with what appears to be an imminent change to Illinois’ view of marijuana in 2019, could affect employers and job candidates state-wide. For more information on the subject, contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco & Connelly.