Springfield a big supporter of an initiative to legalize marijuana for adult recreation in Illinois, indicate that substantial bill language will soon be filed. The issue probably is one to be discussed by lawmakers of the state once they return to statehouse after their two-week spring break.
Heather Steans, a State Senator and a Chicago Democrat, on a recent interview for capital Cast podcast said that she intended to file considerable adult use language very early in May if not by the end of April.
Marijuana was legalized in Illinois for certain medical conditions under a 2013-enacted pilot program. Three years after, lawmakers decriminalized any marijuana possession so long as it was not more than 10 grams and lowered the offense to a civil case offense carrying a fine of $100-$200 from a misdemeanor.
With support from the Democratic Governor Pritzker now, many lawmakers want entirely legalize marijuana for adults under state law even if it remains criminal under the federal law. The proposed budget by Pritzker for the forthcoming fiscal year is inclusive of $170 million revenue from licensing dispensaries and cultivators.
According to Steans, several working groups have been hammering out different aspects and details of the legislation. These include things like the number of licenses that will be available for retail shops and cultivators; the much such licenses will cost, their mode of allocation, and limits of the quantity of marijuana an individual can hold for personal use.
Earlier proposals have suggested the setting aside half or more of these new licenses for individuals that live in predominately Hispanic, black and American neighborhoods. Supporters argue that these groups of people have been subjected to negative impacts of the drug war.
On the other hand, the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreation faces weighty opposition by a number of legislators and religious organizations. Some like Senator believe that if usage goes up, abuse will rise.
Meanwhile, Steans held it that she is cautiously optimistic that this legalization bill will pass.