Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to expunge thousands of marijuana convictions

FILE- In this Feb. 23, 2019, file photo, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx speaks to reporters at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse after R. Kelly was ordered held on a $1 million bond, in Chicago. The Chicago police union's president alleges that the county's top prosecutor interfered with the probe of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett before recusing herself and wants the Justice Department to investigate. WLS-TV in Chicago reports that Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote the Justice Department following reports that Foxx asked Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett's allegations that he was attacked. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

Illinois prosecutor Kim Foxx is taking a step to ensure that justice is served for those with minor cannabis convictions.

A new report from the Chicago Sun-Times delves into the Cook County State’s Attorney’s wide-ranging plan to expunge the thousands of marijuana convictions in her jurisdiction.

Foxx acknowledges that her office will have to take into account the numerous inquiries which lay ahead and will divide the project into a series of roll outs. However, they hope to begin the first phase in a matter of months.

Foxx and her colleagues will also work with a non-profit, Code For America, which previously aided the state of California with the same process.

Code 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,” Foxx told the outlet.

During a previous interview with the Sun-Times last week Foxx said that her office is also examining the prosecutorial policies of convicting those charged with the sale of marijuana, but said the inquiry is in its early stages.

After a 2015 mandate from the former state’s attorney determined prosecutors would no longer pursue charges on minor drug charges, Foxx said she was discouraged to learn that people were still being arrested for said offense.

As data has repeatedly showed, these minor offenses have led to the jailing of an increasing number of Black and Latino men and has also affected Black women, who are now the fastest rising jail population.

Foxx said that her office is changing the policy as Illinois’ future in the legal cannabis business after legislators in neighboring Springfield moved towards legalization efforts earlier this year.