Gov. Pritzker Expected To Sign Bill Into Law 
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Gov. Pritzker Expected To Sign Bill Into Law 
Posted by CN Staff on June 25, 2019 at 05:23:24 PT
By Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune 
Source: Chicago Tribune
Illinois -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected Tuesday to approve a plan to legalize marijuana in Illinois next year, marking a momentous shift in how the state treats drug use.The governor is set to sign into law a bill allowing the licensed growth, sales, possession and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and over, according to state Sen. Heather Steans, a co-sponsor of the bill. While the plant remains illegal under federal law, and the state previously decriminalized possession of small amounts, the new statute would end part of the war on drugs that led to thousands of arrests and convictions.
Steans, a Chicago Democrat, said the signing ceremony is set to take place at the Sankofa Cultural Arts & Business Center in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. While advocating for the bill for the past two years, she argued that prohibition doesn’t work, and that regulating the product will improve social fairness, make it safer to consume, and will generate much-needed tax revenue for the state.In the runup to the first legal sales Jan. 1, 2020, Steans said, “The biggest challenge will be, what will the (customer) lines be like? In other states we’ve seen long lines and not enough product.”Opponents warn that legalization will lead to increased use of an addictive drug, more deaths and accidents from driving while high, and more emergency hospitalizations for overdoses.The Democratic-controlled General Assembly overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 7, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, last month. It would allow residents to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product such as edibles, and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. Out-of-state visitors could possess up to half those amounts.Only state-licensed businesses would be allowed to grow, process or sell the product. An important part of the plan calls for favoritism in licensing for “social equity applicants,” meaning business owners and workers from poor minority areas, or those who were arrested for or convicted of misdemeanor marijuana crimes that are due to be expunged under the plan.Once the market grows to maturity, the program is estimated to generate an estimated $500 million a year in taxes. That would come from a 10% tax on products with up to 35 percent THC, the component of the plant that gets users high; 20% for cannabis-infused products such as edibles; and 25% for THC concentrations of more than 35% — plus local sales taxes.In a concession to law enforcement, an earlier provision to allow adults to grow five plants each at home was eliminated. Instead, only certified medical marijuana patients would be allowed to grow up to five plants each at home.Robert McCoppin reports breaking news and cultural trends in the suburbs for the Tribune. He’s also covered the courts, health care and City Hall for the Daily Herald, UPI and the City News Bureau. He loves his family, music, the outdoors and the smell of barbecue on the lakefront after surviving a Chicago winter.Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author: Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune Published: June 24, 2019Copyright: 2019 Chicago Tribune Company, LLCWebsite: letters chicagotribune.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 25, 2019 at 10:31:32 PT
Updated Chicago Tribune Article
Legal Marijuana is Coming to Illinois. Gov. Pritzker Signs Bill, Calls It an ‘Important and Overdue Change To Our State’URL:
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