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Illinois considers legalizing marijuana for a fiscal boost

March 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state lawmakers are considering a proposal that could make Illinois the first state in the Midwest and the ninth nationally to legalize recreational pot.

Two Chicago Democrats introduced legislation last week that would legalize small amounts of marijuana for adults and license businesses to sell cannabis products. They argue it would help solve the state’s budget crisis.

Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy say the move could raise between $350 to $700 million in tax revenue, create new jobs and bolster tourism.

But they know the proposal could face opposition from fellow lawmakers. They plan to jumpstart conversations with legislators, interest groups and the public this spring but won’t move legislation this session.

The Illinois Association of Police Chiefs opposes the legislation over traffic safety concerns.

 

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