Gov. JB Pritzker has pardoned more than 11,000 people convicted of misdemeanor marijuana cases, in the first step toward clearing the records of hundreds of thousands of low-level pot convictions, a day before the state legalizes cannabis in 2020.

“These 11,017 misdemeanor convictions represent individuals who have carried around with them a stain on their records for possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis; a stain that has very often prevented them from obtaining housing, or jobs, or benefits. Today, we lift the burden on the first 11,000,” Pritzker said Monday at Trinity United Church of Christ.

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