Illinois Lawmakers Hold Hearings on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Lawmakers Discuss Legalizing Marijuana in Illinois

Chicago, Illinois- Medical marijuana was legalized in Illinois in 2013. Now, lawmakers are discussing the possibility of approving recreational use for adults.

Today, a joint committee has met to discuss a new bill to legalize recreational marijuana at the Bilandic Building in Chicago. If passed, adults 21 and over would be permitted to possess one ounce of marijuana flower. The bill would also set up a regulatory and tax structure for marijuana sales.

“Legalizing marijuana is an important step in right-sizing our criminal justice system, reducing racial disparities in prosecuting non-violent drug offenses, targeting our scarce resources on prosecuting violent crime and lessening the social dislocation we see in too many of our communities.,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at the committee meetings according to ABC 7 Chicago.

There were several meetings on marijuana today. One focused on how other states are handling legalization. A second meeting focused on the economic impact of legalization while a third meeting was centered around law enforcement. The fourth meeting relates to public health.

State lawmakers are getting feedback from both pro and anti-legalization advocates.”What we’re talking about with marijuana is encouraging use. Good drug policy discourages use, while not harming those already struggling with addiction,” said Dr. Aaron Weiner, of the Linden Oaks Behavioral Health. “I’m very concerned, as we’re currently framing this discussion, our new legislation might not do that.”