The State of Illinois Legalizes Marijuana

On Tuesday, June 25th 2019, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker (D) signed into law a marijuana legalization bill The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (HB1438-SFA2).

With the Governor signing the bill, Illinois has become the 11th  state in the US to end cannabis prohibition of cannabis for adult recreational use.

A Legislative Act Rather Than by Ballot, First in Illinois

The Illinois Governor’s signing is also a first in changing a state’s laws to tax and regulate marijuana sales for recreational use through a legislative act rather than a ballot measure.

Governor Pritzker was elected last year, and in signing the bill into law he has fulfilled a campaign promise to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

The legislation comes into effect on January 1st 2020 with the new law allowing Illinois residents who are 21 and over  to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis bud, 5 grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in products such as edibles.

Medical Cannabis Users Benefit

Registered medical users of cannabis will benefit from the bill with home cultivation for medical purposes being permitted with 5 plants per household.  Possession limits will apply outside the house used for cultivation.

Criminal Records for Possession to be Expunged

Further to legalizing marijuana for adult use, Governor Pritzker’s bill will expunge criminal records for around 800,000 people  where the record was the result of purchasing or possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana.

Important Welfare Benefits for the State from the Bill

Pritzker’s legalization bill also offers important welfare reform for the state with 25% tax revenue from sales earmarked for the redevelopment of impoverished community areas and minority groups being given prioritization for vendor permits.

Illinois Bill a Significant Victory for Founder of NORML

The signing into law of a marijuana legalization bill in Illinois  is very significant for Keith Stroup, who founded the Washington based responsible consumers marijuana legalization lobby group NORML, nearly 50 years ago. Keith Stroup and and his organization has fought hard for many years to defend the rights of responsible adults in the US to use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. NORML has been at the forefront of lobby work for the cannabis industry in Washington DC. Keith Stroup is a native of Illinois.

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