Illinois Equal Justice Foundation launches new alliance, wiping marijuana convictions clean

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FILE – In this March 22, 2019 file photo, shows marijuana buds being sorted into a prescription jar at Compassionate Care Foundation’s medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Voters in four states could embrace broad legal marijuana sales on Election Day, setting the stage for a watershed year for the industry that could snowball into neighboring states as well as reshape policy on Capitol Hill. The Nov. 3, 2020, contests will take place in markedly different regions of the country, New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota and Montana and approval of the proposals would highlight how public acceptance of cannabis is cutting across geography, demographics and the nation’s deep political divide. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation is helping people wipe marijuana convictions clean. 

The organization Thursday announced the launch of New Leaf Illinois. 

It’s an alliance of 20 organizations across the state committed to providing free legal and advisory services to people who’ve been arrested or convicted of marijuana violations. 

Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D)-IL says in Illinois alone there are nearly 800,000 criminal records related to marijuana. 

Foundation members explained one component of the legalization of recreational marijuana use is to recognize and rectify the damage caused by the war on drugs, especially how it disproportionately impacts communities of color and the economically disenfranchised. 

The foundation is encouraging anyone who has a past marijuana arrest or conviction to register for expungement. 

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