cannabis 060322CHICAGO– State Senator Jacqueline Collins sponsored a new law addressing the collateral consequences of cannabis use criminalization.

“People looking to correct their criminal record should not be stopped from meaningfully participating in society because of a positive drug test for cannabis,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “We have to stop treating its use as grounds for dismissal with respect to jobs and petition-filing.”

Individuals seeking to expunge or seal a felony conviction were previously required to take and pass a drug test to show the absence of illegal substance, including cannabis. House Bill 4392 will now allow petitioners to continue the filing process despite a positive test for cannabis. The new law was signed Friday.

Expungement and sealing are ways of allowing individuals to hide or clear their record, expanding their access to job opportunities and certain spaces. Before the signing of Collins’ law, despite cannabis’ legality in Illinois, a positive test would affect petitioners’ filing outcome prior to case consideration.

“People deserve second chances, and it is important that we afford this opportunity to those whose circumstances may have led them to crime,” Collins said. “This legislation is especially meaningful for our communities of color, who face disproportionate disparities in the criminal justice system.”

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.