Illinois may have created the most equitable blueprint for legalization that the country has seen so far. Last week, the bill to legalize marijuana in the state was approved by a 66-47 bipartisan vote, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The historic bill will put Black and Latinx cannabis growers at the forefront by giving precedence to license applicants who come from “minority areas disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.”
In addition, the bill will direct the state’s governor to pardon past convictions for low-level possession charges, The Tribune reported.
ABC News reported that over 700,000 Illinois residents could have their records cleared.
“This will have a transformational impact on our state, creating opportunity in the communities that need it most and giving so many a second chance,” Pritzker said in a statement to The Tribune.
How to make the incoming storm of marijuana legalization an equitable one—that serves everyone, is a daunting task that many states including New York and New Jersey, have been working on for a while now.
The Illinois bill is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020.