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Sep 07

Illinois Legislature Is Now Considering Recreational Marijuana – High Times

A proposal designed to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois is now under consideration by the state legislature.On Wednesday, cannabis advocates and law enforcement officials duked it out before a joint House-Senate appropriations committee over whether to end pot prohibition in the Land of Lincoln.Those in favor of a legal cannabis market, similar to what is currently underway in Colorado, believe the move would free up police resources and contribute millions of dollars in tax revenue to the downtrodden economy, while opposing forces are concerned the move will increase addiction rates and create more incidents of stoned driving.“There would be more people driving under the influence of cannabis,” said Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser, according to the Associated Press. “The community would not be better off, the state would not be better off, with legalization.”Senator Heather Steans and Representative Kelly Cassidy brought the marijuana legalization proposals (SB316 and HB2353) to the table earlier this year. The lawmakers believe this legislation is “in the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom.”Under the proposed legislation, adults 21 and older would have the freedom to purchase marijuana from retail outlets in a manner similar to alcohol. It also comes with a home cultivation provision that would allow adults to grow up to five plants at home for personal use.A similar bill was introduced in the 2017 session, but it failed to gain the necessary traction to win a hearing. It is for this reason that Steans and Cassidy wanted to make sure to give the current language, which includes changes in regulatory and tax structure, the appropriate time for discussion, so the issue has a fighting chance at going the distance next year.

Source: Illinois Legislature Is Now Considering Recreational Marijuana – High Times