When Democrat J.B. Pritzker took over as governor in Illinois, he said legalizing recreational marijuana one was on his priorities. And now we finally know what a legalization bill in Illinois could look like.
The first draft of a legalized marijuana bill are being circulated in Illinois right now. The bill contains some pretty standard things. Illinois residents would be able buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, while non-residents would be allowed half of those limits. Illinois residents would also be able to grow up to five cannabis plants in their house. The bill would also take the extra step of expunging old marijuana convictions from Illinois state criminal records, something that not all legalized states have done.
There are a few restrictions in the bill as well. The bill would not allow public marijuana use or allow cannabis bars or other businesses where people can consume marijuana. And cities, employers and landlords would all still be allowed to prohibit marijuana use and possession.
It's not quite clear how high the taxes on the cannabis will be, although considering Illinois has some of the highest tax rates in the nation, it will probably not be cheap. The state estimates around 800,000 people in Illinois would purchase legal cannabis if the bill was passed, and they could generate anywhere between $350 million and $750 million through marijuana taxes.
There appears to be a lot of support in the Illinois legislature with many Democratic leaders supporting legalization. And considering Democrats control all levels of the state government, that should really push things along easily.
(h/t State Journal-Register)