Illinois Becomes Better One Joint at a Time

Illinois

Marijuana may soon be free from current recreational restrictions for those ages 21 and over in Illinois. It will be a time for joy for responsible users and a time for concern for some residents who fear the legal consequences.

During Governor J.B. Pritzker’s campaign, he boldly expressed favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Pritzker branded this as a way to combat current enforcement tactics that disproportionately affect minority communities.

The bill was passed during the first, second, and third readings by the Illinois Senate February, 21 and March 1, 2018. It was finally passed in the Senate March 3, 2018. Now it is currently being processed through the house of representatives.

However, according to State Senator Heather Steans report “it’s very consistent with what we’ve seen and where we think the state of Illinois is.” Moreover, there appears to be little pushback, by Illinois general assembly as a whole.

Once legal, there will be limitations on the number of marijuana plants that may be grown per household. There will also be restrictions placed on dispensaries, such how much marijuana individuals can purchase in one day.

Nonetheless, former Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party Pat Brady warns there are factors yet to be resolved. Before you get super excited according to Pat Brady, former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and Brady, who is now a consultant and lobbyist explains, “people see it as a new source of revenue. The true battle will be over who gets their cut of it tax wise.”

The ball is currently in the hand of the state’s legislators. However, Pat Brady stated, “I suspect it’s a done deal.”

Soon adults may be able to smoke joints as casually as they would tobacco in the comfort of their homes without fear of arrest. Currently, only those with medical marijuana cards can legally buy cannabis at dispensaries.

Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be the first to get licensure to sell for recreational use. Dispensaries will have a wide range of the plant’s’ strains and forms ranging from pre-rolled joints to wax, edibles, and accessories. This is not a complete slam dunk yet, being that there is a first reading scheduled for Marijuana Bill in the house of representatives.

House Republican leader Jim Durkin declared, he is not in support of this movement.“I will never support legalization” he said. “I don’t like how quickly we are moving. Illinois should not be part of this lab experiment. I see no societal value.”

Michigan, about an hour drive from Chicago, became the 10th state and the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. Colorado’s cannabis tourism has grown by 51 percent since 2014, according to a report from the state’s department of revenue. This demonstrates the potential of the growing taxable market marijuana could bring to Illinois.

Governor Pritzker believes using cannabis, or allowing people to smoke joints without legal consequence, is not going to solve all of Illinois problems but it is a step in a better direction.

Written by Marcia Wilson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources;

ABC: Recreational marijuana wins big if non-binding, vote in Illinois primary
Illinois General assembly: Bill status of SB2275
JBpritzer.com: Legalizing Marijuana

Featured Image Courtesy of Mark’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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