CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the forgiveness and expungement of about 500,000 criminal cannabis cases late last week. 

Pritzker said he issued pardons for 9,210 low-level cannabis convictions, while Illinois State Police have wiped clean more than 492,000 non-felony cannabis-related arrest records. 

The actions by Pritzker and state police were mandated by the Illinois law that legalized the licensed sale of marijuana starting in 2020. The intent of the law was to reduce the impact of the war on drugs on minorities, who were disproportionately arrested and locked up for cannabis crimes.

“We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of that damage,” Pritzker said. “But we can govern with the courage to admit the…

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