photo credit: Jiri Hera // Shutterstock
Marijuana is slowly getting legalized across the country. Illinois just became the 11th state to allow marijuana for recreational use.
On Tuesday their Governor, J.B. Pritzker made it official, signing the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act that would also have expunged 770,000 Illinois residents criminal records for those with marijuana-related offenses for up to 30 grams of weed. If a person was convicted for any amount ranging from 30 to 500 grams, they will need to petition a court to have their charge lifted.
Gov. Pritzker has long supported the legalization of marijuana. From a financial standpoint, he says the law will bring about $1 billion per year into the state. Pritzker highlighted how the war on drugs was specifically hard on minorities whose lives were damaged as a result. This bill includes the “social equity program” that would provide minorities with financial resources, and support such as low-interest loans, and grants.
“The war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities,” Pritzker said to AP. “Law enforcement across the nation has spent billions of dollars to enforce the criminalization of cannabis, yet its consumption remains widespread.”
Dispensaries could generate up to $170 million next year alone. Illinois’ Department of Agriculture will also create pilot programs to prepare people for jobs in the weed industry. These programs are required by the state to seek out low-income students for enrollment.
Written by Clarke Jones