ILLINOIS (KFVS) - A new bill in front of the Illinois State Senate aims to allow people convicted of marijuana possession before 2016 to petition to drop those charges after 3 years.
The bill has already passed in the House. The Senate will decide what happens next when they start session again in January.
Heartland News asked attorney Adam Loos what this could mean for people with these charges in the future. He thinks that this law would make finding work a lot easier for people who have been charged.
“Even if it’s a cannabis crime, there’s some people that simply won’t hire you," he said. “So it narrows their field of options for career advancement and for other things.”
Loos thinks the demographic that has the most to lose from a possession charge and the most to gain from this law passing are young people.
“People of all ages consume cannabis, but younger people are the ones who tend to get caught with it,” he said.
Heartland News talked to some young people at SIU Carbondale to see what they think of the potential law.
Breanna Hunt said it could help out students with a charge who are already feeling financial pressure from student loans.
“Making it more difficult for them to find a job makes it more difficult for them to find work to pay back those loans,” she said.
David Higgs thinks this measure is a good idea because, generally, people he knows who smoke pot aren’t bad people.
“Many of them have jobs," he said. "Many of them are hard working students. "I mean it’s really no different than alcohol or cigarettes or any other substance. In fact, it’s probably better than the former two.”
So Loos, and every SIUC student Heartland News reporters spoke with like Andrew Box, support this measure.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Box said. "I mean you shouldn’t have it on your record forever if you just get caught with a little bit of weed.”