Illinois in the Works for First Cannabis Legalization by Statue, Not Ballot Initiative

sebastian-pichler-25154-unsplash-1Many states over the recent years have gone the way of recreational or medicinal cannabis legalization by popular vote through a ballot initiative, but that’s not how Illinois is about to go through it. The state wants to pass the legalization of recreational cannabis through a passed legislation that will become a state statute. Legislators, who are led by Senators Cassidy and Steans, began work on this bill more than two years ago.

Senator Kelly Cassidy, co-lead of the bill with Senator Heather Steans, stated: “No state has gone to tax-and-regulate by legislation versus ballot referendum. That’s why it’s taken more time than other bigger bills.”

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As it stands now, the bill is a monumental 522 pages that includes a portion that is set and ready to pardon and clear the records of anybody with a cannabis possession conviction on their record. State Police will be given up to two years to provide the names of those who would qualify to have their record expunged.

The bill also states that 25% of the tax revenue that is generated by the legalized and taxed sales of recreational cannabis will be invested back into communities that have suffered from the war on drugs and discriminatory drug policies. It is estimated that the state will generate anywhere between $200 million to over $500 million in annual tax revenues.

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