Here’s the first wave of the swathe of articles that will now appear on legalization in Illinois. All the old hands out there knows what follows next after all the excitement fades !
Illinois poised to enact historic recreational marijuana bill that could clear convictions for 770,000
The bill — which permits marijuana possession and may clear the way for hundreds of thousands of criminal cases to be purged — was sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk Friday after the state House of Representatives approved it with a 66-47 vote, the first time a state legislature in the United States has taken such action.
How Illinois’s landmark legislative session will impact Chicago
Springfield’s ambitious spring session brought landmark legislation that will change Chicago
Illinois lawmakers had a long list of items on the agenda for the spring session, includinglegalizing recreational marijuanaand a massive$45 billion capital bill for infrastructure. After years for gridlock with former Governor Bruce Rauner, a Democratic supermajority and Governor JB Pritzker were determined to show what they could accomplish.
“Together we just accomplished one of the most ambitious and consequential legislative sessions in this state’s history,” said JB Pritzker on Sunday.
Daywatch: Pritzker’s big weekend, what’s next for legal weed and more things you need to know to start your day
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session Sunday afterdelivering first-term Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “think big” agenda. The legislative session went into overtime this weekend despite the return of one-party Democratic rule in Springfield, with lawmakers addressing Pritzker’s aggressive agenda after four years of dysfunctional government under his predecessor, Republican Gov.Bruce Rauner. When it was all over,Pritzker got what he wanted:
Illinois Legislature Passes Cannabis Legalization Bill
The Illinois House of Representatives approved a cannabis legalization bill on Friday, likely making the state the 11th to legalize possession and sales of marijuana for adults. The planhas already been approved by the state Senate and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who campaigned for office promising cannabis policy reform, said in a tweet on Friday afternoon that he is looking “forward to signing this monumental legislation.”
“The state of Illinois just made history, legalizing adult-use cannabis with the most equity-centric approach in the nation,” Pritzker said in a statement. “This will have a transformational impact on our state, creating opportunity in the communities that need it most and giving so many a second chance.”
First Legislature to Legalize Pot Sales
The bill would make Illinois the first state to legalize sales of recreational pot to adults by an act of the legislature. The Vermont legislature legalized possession of cannabis last year but failed to provide a legal avenue for sales of marijuana to consumers. Cannabis possession and sales in the District of Columbia and nine other states were all approved through voter initiatives.
Under the Illinois measure, resident adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, while visitors to the state would be allowed to possess up to 15 grams. The bill also legalizes possession of cannabis edibles and small amounts of concentrates. The legislation sets up a system to regulate and tax sales of cannabis products to adults through licensed dispensaries. An original provision to allow the home cultivation of up to five cannabis plants by adults was amended to apply only to medical marijuana patients at the urging of law enforcement groups.
Cannabis Taxes to Fund Social Equity Programs
Tax revenues raised through cannabis sales would initially be used to fund the expungement of approximately 770,000 past convictions for minor marijuana offenses. Tax dollars would then be used for drug treatment and enforcement programs and mental health counseling services, with the balance going to the state’s general fund.
Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Democrat from Chicago and one of the bill’s sponsors, praised the social equity provisions of the measure, which also include a program to assist members of minority groups to obtain licenses to operate cannabis businesses.
“It is time to hit the ‘reset’ button on the War on Drugs,” Cassidy said. “We have an opportunity today to set the gold standard for a regulated market that centers on equity and repair.”