Illinois Fights to Legalize Weed

Illinois may be on the brink of being the first Midwestern state and ninth nationwide to legalize weed. Supporters in Springfield Illinois are pushing hard for the legalization; one of the main reasons being is that it will solve the state’s budget crisis.

The legislation was introduced last week by two Illinois state lawmakers, which states residents that residents 21 or older are allowed to possess, grow or buy up to an ounce of Marijuana and licenses business marijuana products, depended upon regulation.  By regulating weed, it’s quite possible it would help fill Illinois’ multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 to $700 million in new tax revenue.

The Marijuana Policy Project,  a national advocacy group, had based the estimate  on the following,

  1. The proposal’s $50-per-ounce wholesale tax
  2. Illinois’ standard sales tax
  3. Federal marijuana consumption data
  4. Recreational pot prices in Colorado

50 percent of the wholesale revenues for the state’s general fund will get funded and the rest will be divided between education and public health.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat who assisted 2014 legislation that legalized medical marijuana in Illinois, will be sponsoring the proposal in the House.

“We’re talking about all sorts of ways of raising revenue,” Cassidy said while referring to state lawmakers’ with efforts to break a two-year budget logjam.

This will not be an easy feat,  however.  Right now Kelly Cassidy and Chicago Democrat Sen. Heather Steans are conversing with the likes of lawmakers, interest groups, and the public,  but as of right now they are not pushing the legislation forward.

Certain individuals such as Ed Wojcicki, the association’s director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police deem the legalization of pot as “an enforcement nightmare.”  He claims existing science still remains inconclusive about how to identify high individuals while driving or on the road.

The nonprofit lobbying group known as NORMIL had opposed that statement.  Dan Linn the director of the Illinois state chapter,   said states that have legalized marijuana have had no increases traffic violations.

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