Published: Fri, March 24, 2017
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Bills To Legalize Marijuana Introduced In General Assembly

Bills To Legalize Marijuana Introduced In General Assembly

If passed (a humungous "if", mind you), both would allow people 21 and over to buy, grow and posses "limited amounts" of weed. Steans also said the taxes collected from legal marijuana sales would help plug holes in the state budget. Based on current usage rates and market price in Colorado, marijuana sales could generate between $349-million and $699-million per year in new revenue in IL. Senator Steans was the lead sponsor of a 2016 measure that has since decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis in the state.

Asked if Gov. Bruce Rauner would consider signing either piece of legislation, spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the two bills were under review. "Several states have adopted sensible alternatives to prohibition, and it is time for IL to develop its own exit strategy".

The committee held a workshop on Wednesday as it began to consider five bills to implement Amendment 2. Sen. The proposal also calls for dividing the tax revenue, with half going to the state's general fund, and the rest to schools and drug abuse treatment and prevention.

"Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer", she said.

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Legal marijuana sales can generate windfall tax revenues, but the social and health costs are largely unknown, cautioned Rosalie Pacula, a senior economist at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy organization. Purchases would have a sales tax of six-and-a-quarter percent. "It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state", Steans told the network.

The proposed new law would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot for one year before newly licensed businesses would be allowed to enter the market.

Legalizing marijuana could be just the moneymaker the state needs, the lawmakers say: Eight states have now enacted laws regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use, and the budget benefits have been apparent in some of those parts of the country.

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