Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is new to office, and his ideas are new for Illinois. In Gov. Pritzker’s inaugural address, he noted that for him, his campaign promise to legalize marijuana is a priority.
Gov. Pritzker noted legalization, taxation, and regulation are paramount to public safety, justice for state residents and economic inclusion. He promised to work with legislators to make the possibility a reality.
For Illinois, studies have shown that as many as 24,000 jobs could be created if marijuana were to become a legal industry. Meanwhile, the state economy would see a boost as high as $1 billion, with $500 million in revenue hitting the state’s coffers — a welcome potential solution to some monetary struggles faced in recent budget years.
For Democratic state Senator Heather Steans and Representative Kelly Cassidy, years of work on marijuana legislation may finally pay off. The duo have reportedly been meeting with various groups prior to the start of this year’s legislative session in hopes of giving the legislation a much-needed push.
The plan proposed by this duo includes guidelines for the maximum amount of marijuana that state residents could possess for recreational use. These guidelines say state residents would be permitted 30 grams, while out of state residents will be permitted to possess 15 grams.
The numbers were settled on based on a report from an economist, commissioned by legislators to determine the best amounts for this scenario.
For law enforcement, concerns remain in regard to determining impairment in motorists and also a lack of control of home cultivation. The officials in law enforcement also are concerned that clear information regarding dosages won’t be posted to the packaging of edibles products.
These officials are dubious that the youth of the state won’t have easy access to the drug once recreational use for adults is approved, and they feel that should be a deterrent to the push forward for legalization.
Coming months and progress reports on the legislative session will give a better idea of which group makes the most progress. State residents are largely in support of the legalization of recreational use, making the legislative decisions even more interesting in the potential to go either way.
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