On New Year’s Day, Illinois became the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana.
The New Year wasn’t the only thing the state of Illinois celebrated on Jan. 1. Long before sunrise, there were lines outside of dispensaries so people could legally get their hands on the formally decriminalized plant that contains THC.
According to The Hill, citizens can possess up to 30 grams of dried flower, five grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams of edibles.
At a press conference, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, “The war on cannabis has destroyed families. It has filled jails and prisons with nonviolent offenders. It has disproportionately affected black and brown communities.”
AP News states that “state officials estimate that 116,000 convictions involving 30 grams or less of marijuana, including for possession of the drug, are eligible for pardons under the new law.”
In issuing these pardons, Gov. Pritzker says he hopes that it will be easier for those who were previously convicted or imprisoned (because of marijuana possession) to obtain jobs, housing and financial aid for college.
In Aug. 2013, Gov. Pat Quinn helped Illinois to become the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana when he signed it into law, which then took effect the following January.