With public support in favor and a new governor set to be elected next year, recreational marijuana may be a reality for Illinois.
Momentum seems to be building for legalized recreational marijuana use in Illinois. Last year, small possession was decriminalized and being caught with amounts under 10 grams no longer carries the possibility of jail time.
But that could be only the beginning of marijuana reform in Illinois. The public seems eager for legalization. A recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute found that 66 percent of Illinois residents support legalizing recreational marijuana. But legalization could come down to whoever is elected the state’s next governor.
“If it’s somebody who is in favor of the idea and would be less likely to veto it, then it’s got a much better chance in the Spring of 2019,” said Jak Tichenor with the Public Policy Institute according to ABC News local affiliate WSIL 3
The Democratic candidate for governor, J.B. Pritzker, seems to agree with the residents of Illinois.
“We should legalize recreational marijuana in small amounts, and the reason for that is that it’s widely available already, let’s face it,” said Pritzker.
Financial analysts estimate that recreational sales of marijuana could generate between $300-700 million annually.