The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx is working on erasing the marijuana-related conivictions of thousands of Chicago residents.
Considering that Black people are arrested at rate that is four times highter that white people, this is definitely a good move for the Black community in Cicago.
Foxx stated that she will begin removing thousands of minor cannabis convictions in the upcoming months. According to Foxx her office is currently trying to determine how exactly to implement her plan.
She also stated in an interview with the Sun-Times that her office will also be looking into the policy of prosecuting those arrested for the sale of marijuana, however she said this review is still in its early stages.
Foxx first pledged her support for the full legalization of marijuana during a speech she gave to the City of Chicago back in January of this year. She declared that her office would “pursue the expungement of all misdemeanor marijuana convictions.”
Noting the tough process of cataloguing the years of convictions, Foxx told the Sun-Times that her office won’t be able to expunge all of the convictions at once. However, she said the state’s attorney’s office hopes to start clearing the first round of convictions in the upcoming months.
Foxx’s office is planning to work with the nonprofit orgnization, Code For America, to accomplish her goal. Code for America has already assisted with numerous expungements throughout the state of California.
Foxx stated that Code for America can “help us find some infrastructure support of being able to look at the [Cook County] clerk’s office, Dorothy Brown’s office, to be able to identify batches of people who are found or convicted of the statutory code for possession of marijuana,”.
With the help of Code for America, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office was able to dismiss 8,132 convictions this past Feburary. These convictions dating back to 1975. Code for America uses a computer algorithm to help identify cases that should be cleared for dismissal after recreational marijuana was legalized in California in 2016.
“The question is, how far back can we go? How far back does the data go — which will give us what our universe looks like? But we’re in the process of figuring that out,” Foxx said.
The state’s attorney’s office and Code for America have yet to sign a formal agreement, but Code for America spokeswoman Maria Buczkowski confirmed the nonprofit is in talks with the state’s attorney’s office.