Illinois Set To Pass Bill To Legalize Marijuana By 2020
Illinois could be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Thanks to a new bill that Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed that is central to criminal justice reform, the use of recreational marijuana could be legalized by January 1, 2020.
The new bill announced Saturday by Pritzker and other Democratic lawmakers would allow people aged 21 and over to purchase recreational marijuana at a licensed dispensary in the state. Residents would be able to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana and grow up to five plants at home, while nonresidents would be able to possess up to 15 grams.
The details of the bill include expunging an estimated 800,000 marijuana convicts and allowing people with such convictions to work in the cannabis industry.
“We are taking a major step forward to legalize adult use cannabis and to celebrate the fact that Illinois is going to have the most equity-centric law in the nation,” Pritzker said during a press conference Saturday at the Black United Fund’s office in Chicago. “For the many individuals and families whose lives have been changed ― indeed hurt ― because the nation’s war on drugs discriminated against people of color, this day belongs to you too.”
Years of work by stakeholders across Illinois means that today we are putting forward a framework to legalize adult use cannabis on January 1, 2020. pic.twitter.com/l1rbX9Oozu
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) May 4, 2019
During his run for governor, one of Pritzker’s most important platforms was his stance on equity-centric marijuana legalization.
The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy and state Sen. Heather Steans.
Still recovering from a whirlwind day. So thankful to all these folks, and so many more, who have worked to create landmark equity centered cannabis reform legislation for IL. pic.twitter.com/1YEKVyNRzO
— Rep. Kelly Cassidy (@RepKellyCassidy) May 4, 2019
Pitzker said that 25 percent of the cannabis sales revenue would go into communities that have been impacted most by discrimination in the “prosecution of drug laws in the criminal justice system.” About 20 percent of the revenue will go to supporting services related to substance abuse, 35 percent will go to the state’s General Revenue Fund and 10 percent towards helping clear Illinois’ debt.
If passed, the bill would make Illinois the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, joining Michigan and all of the West Coast states.