IL looks at legalizing and taxing marijuana

Posted March 24, 2017

In the eight states where recreational marijuana is legal-at least under state law, if not federal, of course-legal weed sales brought in $500 million from taxes previous year, according to Yahoo Finance.

Some residents seem to be backing this proposed legislation. Heather Steans, of Chicago, would make it legal for IL residents 21 years of age and older to have up to 28 grams - 1 ounce - of marijuana.

The legislation would impose a special 23.65 percent sales tax on all marijuana and marijuana products at retail. As Illinois' rapidly growing budget deficit threatens tocripple the state, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) projects the state could generate some much-needed revenue should they choose to legalize recreational pot.

The committee held a workshop on Wednesday as it began to consider five bills to implement Amendment 2. Sen.

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Bills introduced in both chambers of the IL legislature this week seek to make it legal for adults (21 and over) to possess, grow, and purchase up to 28 grams of marijuana.

For more than a year, IL has had a pilot program allowing the sale of marijuana to patients with any of about 40 debilitating diseases, such as cancer or AIDS.

Asked if Gov. Bruce Rauner would consider signing either piece of legislation, spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the two bills were under review. 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. It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state.

Police have not noticed any significant problems with either law, according to Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger Jr., who is first vice president of the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association, which opposes legalization. It would still be illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, and employers could still regulate its use in the workplace.