Pending Legalization Efforts
State lawmakers continue to consider legalization in Illinois as they hear from experts on economic development.
Illinois lawmakers heard another round of testimony on cannabis legalization for adults 21 and over, with an emphasis on how it can help grow Illinois’ economy. Experts and supporters, including travel personality and NORML Board member Rick Steves submitted testimony at the state’s third hearing on legalization this year.
“When you legalize marijuana, use does not go up, teen use does not go up, crime does not go up, what goes up is tax revenue, what goes down is the black market,” Steves said. “Seventy thousand people are locked up in our country every year, 700,000 people are arrested, for possession of marijuana, not violent crimes. They’re not rich white guys, they’re poor people and they’re black people. It’s amazing that it’s happening in our country right now and there is just a way out of this.”
Currently, under state law, the possession of marijuana is decriminalized up to 10 grams, resulting in a civil violation and a fine of up to $200.