CARTERVILLE, IL. (KFVS) -Today, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) launched their new initiative, called New Leaf Illinois.
It aims to expunge cannabis charges for individuals across the State of Illinois, and is funded buy the sales of marijuana, which totaled $1.6 million.
“We are thrilled to be here today to officially launch our brand-new effort for people who want to clear their cannabis convictions,” stated IEJF member Gray Meteo-Harris.
She said she knows how many lives they can impact by this program. “We know the legal system can seem intimidating or confusing, which is exactly why we are providing access to free legal aid professionals to help each step of the way.”
The concept isn’t new. California voters passed Prop 64, allowing people convicted of marijjuana charges to apply for resentencing.
Illinois State Representative of the 92 District, Jehan Gordon-Booth, and State Representative Kelly Cassidy supports the IEJF cause.
“One of the things that was incredibly important to me was that there was going to be significant legal aid outside of Cook County.” Gordon-Booth said this is creating ways for people to get their life back on track. “We’re creating pathways for people not only too get access into the industry but also to be able to just simply clear their records and not have that dark cloud following them every time they have to go and fill out an application”
Beth Johnson, a member of the IEJF said, “The legislator created this remedy, but they backed it up like Representative Gordon-Booth was saying with funding to actually help people through it because otherwise its like an empty promise.”
Mateo-Harris said if you have any concerns, if you are eligible head, over to their website. “Anyone who has a past cannabis arrest or conviction to register for expungement support. The first step is simple go to our website newleafillinois.org where you can register.”