It was on Tuesday that the state of Illinois officially became the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill that permits Illinois residents to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis at a time and non-residents up to 15 grams.
The law also provides for cannabis purchases by adults 21 and older at approved dispensaries, which, after they are licensed and established, may start selling Jan. 1, 2020. For the time being, possession still remains a crime until that date.
“The war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities,” Pritzker said. “Law enforcement across the nation has spent billions of dollars to enforce the criminalization of cannabis, yet its consumption remains widespread.”
The plan’s lead sponsors were Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Sen. Heather Steans.
“Today, we’re hitting the ‘reset’ button on the war on drugs,” Cassidy said.
Democratic Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth stated, “What we are doing here is about reparations. After 40 years of treating entire communities like criminals, here comes this multibillion-dollar industry, and guess what? Black and brown people have been put at the very center of this policy in a way that no other state has ever done.”