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Bill Introduced to End Marijuana Prohibition in Illinois

March 23, 2017

Legislation has been introduced in both the Illinois House and Senate in Springfield to end marijuana prohibition in Illinois and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.

Both proposals would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing.

State Representative Kelly Casidy, who introduced the house legislation, says regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer. Based on current usage rates and market price in Colorado, marijuana sales could generate between $349-million and $699-million per year in new revenue in Illinois.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Heather Steans, who introduced the senate bill, says instead of the money spent on marijuana going into the pockets of criminals, in a regulated system it would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses.

The Marijuana Policy Project reports eight states have enacted laws regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use. A February Quinnipiac University poll found 59-percent of US voters think marijuana should be made legal.

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