Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed into law a bill that will legalize marijuana in Illinois next year, marking a momentous shift in how the state treats drug use.
The bill will allow the licensed growth, sales, possession and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and older.
The signing ceremony, attended by several lawmakers, officeholders and marijuana supporters, took place at the Sankofa Cultural Arts & Business Center in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.
Pritzker called the legislation a “sea change” for Illinois, saying that the war on drugs has destroyed families and disproportionately affected minorities.
“Illinoisans have had enough,” he said. “… The time for change has long since passed.”
“This legalization of adult use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis. Pritzker noted that Illinois is the first state to fully legalize commercial sales through the legislature, rather than through referendum.
He emphasized that the law provides for automatic expungement of arrests for marijuana possession under 30 grams, and that he will pardon those with convictions for possession up to 30 grams.
Individuals and prosecutors may go to court to seek expungement of cases involving up to 500 grams. [Read More @ The Chicago Tribune]
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