State Lawmakers Turn Attention To Marijuana
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State Lawmakers Turn Attention To Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on February 11, 2019 at 20:08:59 PT
By Rebecca Anzel and Peter Hancock, Capitol News 
Source: Chicago Sun-Times 
Springfield -- Attention at the Statehouse is expected to begin focusing on one of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priorities — legalizing recreational marijuana — with the deadline for lawmakers to introduce new bills on Friday. Two key Chicago Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, have met with interested groups around Illinois and are expected to introduce legislation soon.Meanwhile, though, Rep. Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, has already introduced a bill that is drawing attention. It would open the door to a much more expansive legal pot industry than most others have envisioned.
Ammons’ bill, the “Cannabis Legalization Equity Act,” would allow anyone 21 or older with valid identification to purchase or sell marijuana. Driving under the influence of the drug would still be illegal, and the legislation makes specific mention that only “legitimate, taxpaying business people” would be permitted to sell cannabis.Illinoisans, under the measure, could possess as many as 224 grams, or roughly half a pound, of marijuana at a time. It would also allow individuals to grow as many as 24 plants in their own homes for personal consumption, and it would provide for the licensing of cultivation facilities and retail dispensaries.Ammons did not respond to requests for comment Monday. Her measure includes language, though, indicating its purpose would be to allow “law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom.”“We like it. We think that that’s more in line with how we treat alcohol,” said Dan Linn, who lobbies for the Illinois chapter of NORML – the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “We also think it would be good for consumers to be able to cultivate their own cannabis, as well as to have a cap on the licensing fees for the new businesses that would be created by that legislation.”Ammons’ proposal, which has not yet been assigned to a committee, includes a civil penalty, not a criminal one, of $200 to $400 for minors who attempt to buy marijuana illegally.Also in the bill is a requirement that at least 51 percent of the licenses for cultivating facilities and retail cannabis stores be issued, “in communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs,” which the bill defines as census tracts in which more than half the population is African-American, Native American, Hispanic or Latino.The bill also would authorize medical researchers to use cannabis in studies, as long as the participants are at least 21 years old.Revenue for the state would be generated by a 10 percent excise tax on the sale or transfer of marijuana from a cultivating facility to a retail store. Half of that money would be paid into the state’s main checking account, while 30 percent would go to the Common School Fund.Smaller percentages of the revenue would be distributed to various state retirement systems; the Department of Human Services to fund treatment programs for tobacco, alcohol and cannabis abuse; and to the Department of State police for hiring and training drug recognition efforts.There is no official estimate of how much revenue the bill would generate.Linn said NORML will have a lobbying day at the Statehouse on Wednesday, Feb. 20, the same day Pritzker is scheduled to give his budget address to the Legislature. And with Pritzker’s backing of legalization, Linn said he thinks there is a good chance something will pass this year.“I think there’s a strong push to make it happen as quickly as possible so that we can create these jobs and bring in this needed revenue,” he said.Still, any effort toward legalization is certain to meet resistance. The Illinois Catholic Conference recently announced its opposition to legalization. Law enforcement groups including the Chicago Crime Commission and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police have also said they will oppose such a measure, as has the Drug Free America Foundation.The legislation is House Bill 902.Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)Author: Rebecca Anzel and Peter Hancock, Capitol News Published: February 11, 2019Copyright: 2019 The Sun-Times Co. Contact: letters Website: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on February 24, 2019 at 16:09:43 PT
This progress...
Looking at comment 11 and thinking of the meanness that man felt. First, he should have known better. Second... this is the answer to why it took so long.This prohibition has been long because it was deep, so deep, and bitter, and hard. It was so shrouded in deception and lies. It's been unbelievably difficult to bring people into the light.The War on Drugs has done more harm than good. Ashes and ruins everywhere and such slow relief. But it really has been a war. A deeply felt, bitter, and hard and grievous war. Don't forget. People suffered and died.I like that my friend didn't grieve with him. In the least. Not sorry! You lost! It had to take a long time. The truth won. It took a long time because they, prohibitionists, and those that agreed with them, just wouldn't listen and they just couldn't see the truth.
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Comment #15 posted by John Tyler on February 24, 2019 at 08:33:20 PT
making progress
Re # 11 that is so cool, and I really like the term social cannabis too.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on February 23, 2019 at 16:32:31 PT
Comment 13
Me, too!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 21, 2019 at 15:47:02 PT
That is so cool! Makes me smile!
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on February 21, 2019 at 12:48:55 PT
Social Justice, Social Consumption
Social Cannabis Consumption Taking Off in California and Colorado.
Debby Goldsberry, February 11, 2019 like the use of social cannabis or adult cannabis to describe cannabis usage, rather than recreational cannabis. Recreational plays too much into the fears and misconceptions of the past 50 to 100 years of prohibition. Recreation is a frivolous game - unless it involves a ball and tickets to a high-priced coliseum - fueling prohibitionist concerns that somehow the legalizers have selfish and greedy goals and just want to "get high" or make lots of "big marijuana" money at their patrons' expense.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on February 19, 2019 at 17:59:55 PT
Social Justice
A dear friend of mine sells CBD oil here in Texas. She sets up a booth at various public venues around the state. The other day she was at a venue and was helping people, really helping people, with their being able to purchase the CBD oil. As she was working a man walked up and said angrily to her, "I spent fifty years of my life fighting this ____!"She looked at him and said, "Well. You lost."He stomped away.I thought maybe you guys might enjoy that little note of social justice happening, right here in our heavily prohibitionist state.
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on February 18, 2019 at 08:53:08 PT
Re # 9 afterburner
That is a good start. I was also thinking of some kind of business, finance, real estate consulting groups set up by college and university business administration departments, (or similar groups started by wealthy athletes, or showbiz people) designed to provided assistance to “interested start up people” in navigating the complexities of starting a business. I think the “interested start up people” can be successful. They need training, guidance, coaching, encouragement, and financing, just like all of the other successful people have had their whole lives. (Nobody makes it on their own. They have all had help. Mommy and Daddy, and relatives make sure they get a good education and keep them out of trouble. They get the right jobs, and meet the right people, etc. It all seems so easy when you have help.) Let’s make it happen for others. Everybody can have a life where they are safe, secure and can pay their bills. The powerful should not be able to exploit the weak. The powerful are the only ones that don’t seem to understand this.
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on February 17, 2019 at 18:03:16 PT
More Social Justice; It's Growing
No more minor pot arrests in Buffalo, mayor says in State of City speech.
By Susan Schulman|Published February 15, 2019|Updated February 15, 2019
"In addition to stopping low-level marijuana arrests, Brown said during his State of the City address that Buffalo has negotiated a community benefits agreement with Flora California Prime to provide resources to promote jobs in neighborhoods most affected by marijuana arrests and to fund additional community policing initiatives in Buffalo."
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on February 16, 2019 at 22:19:10 PT
 John Tyler #7
Opinion: Here’s why the craft cannabis industry can thrive in the face of Big Marijuana.
By Ryan Stoa.
Published: Feb 16, 2019 7:53 a.m. ET.
Think craft beer State legalizations or Federal legalization should include a path for cannabis activists and communities damaged by the drug war.
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Comment #7 posted by John Tyler on February 16, 2019 at 08:43:53 PT
leave some room for others
One more thing… As cannabis get more and more legal, leave some room for others that have really paid the price for cannabis legalization.Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) earned praise from “drug justice” advocates after criticizing a growing marijuana legalization and business model that is paving the way for white male investors to reap major profits after minorities spent decades in prisons for selling pot.
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on February 16, 2019 at 08:19:16 PT
big upside
Cannabis is extremely popular across the country. The prohibitionists’ scare tactics have been unmasked as lies that promoted narrow economic interest and racial oppression. States that have legalized have seen a jump in economic activity, and a boost in tax revenue. 
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on February 16, 2019 at 07:20:35 PT
 Bipartisan support for marijuana legalization
haven't heard from our friend Paul A. in a while - good one!Bipartisan support for marijuana legalization upends politics as usual
By Paul Armentano
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on February 13, 2019 at 15:54:23 PT
John Tyler,
Kamala Harris is pro-joy.Thanks for posting that.It brought Me more joy.
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on February 13, 2019 at 11:13:35 PT
come on legalization
Kamala Harris was on the radio recently and said this about cannabis legalization, “Listen, I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy.” Amen to that.This reminds me of the origin story of cannabis where the Hindu God Shiva gives cannabis to humankind to bring joy to their hearts. Did she already know this, or did she arrive at this conclusion independently? Is this some greater spiritual truth that each of us discovers on our own? The key word is joy.Joy to the world by Three Dog Night has added meaning at their hair. I think I am stuck in that time period.
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on February 12, 2019 at 04:20:54 PT:
Who cares?
So, the Illinois Catholic Conference, the :Police Chiefs and the Brain-Free -- oops! I meant the "Drug-Free" America Foundation opposes FREEDOM. Who gives a damn? Not me!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 11, 2019 at 20:13:47 PT
Getting More Interesting
Lets get this done!
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