The 21st Show

“New Leaf” program offers cannabis record expungement


AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File

Marijuana has been legal in Illinois since January of 2020. As part of that legislation, the first in the country to be passed by a state legislature, some people with prior cannabis records had them expunged. While hundreds of thousands of people with cannabis on their record had it wiped clean – making it easier to get a job or rent an apartment - others who are still eligible, are waiting. 

A program called New Leaf, a statewide, state-funded initiative that provides legal services to people who are hoping to have their records sealed or expunged is aiming to help. To talk more about the process, and whether this initiative is living up to its promise of righting the wrongs of the war on drugs, we were joined by the co-founder of the Cannabis Equity Coalition and an attorney from a legal aid organization.


Sharon Burch 

Co-Founder, Cannabis Equity Coalition of Illinois 

Dan Kuehnert 

Senior Staff Attorney, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid  



Prepared for web by Owen Henderson

Help shape our coverage on The 21st by joining our texting group and answering weekly questions. To join, text “TALK” to 217-803-0730 or sign up with your phone number below: