Two Democratic lawmakers have proposed legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in IL, saying legalization would provide much-needed revenue for the cash-strapped state while wresting control of the cannabis trade from gangs.
Bills introduced in both chambers of the IL legislature this week seek to make it legal for adults (21 and over) to possess, grow, and purchase up to 28 grams of marijuana.
A $50 per ounce sales tax would be placed on wholesale purchases, and retail sales would be taxed at 6.25 percent, the current sales tax for IL. If passed (a humungous "if", mind you), both would allow people 21 and over to buy, grow and posses "limited amounts" of weed. Consumption in public would remain illegal, as would possession of more than 28 grams at a time (including no more than 5 grams of "concentrated cannabis") for residents, and 14 for non-residents.
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The Colorado-based marijuana policy project is predicting that marijuana sales could raise between $249 to $699 million in new revenue for IL per year.
Cassidy said marijuana prohibition creates far more problems than it prevents.
The committee held a workshop on Wednesday as it began to consider five bills to implement Amendment 2. Sen. Retail sales would be subject to the standard 6.25 percent state sales tax.
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Advocates have cited successes from Colorado's marijuana legalization, including the amount of revenue the proposal could generate for the state.
"Right now, all the money being spent on marijuana is going into the pockets of criminals and cartels", Steans said in a statement. "Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it".
"Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer", she said.
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The governor's office is reviewing the bills. "The sky has not fallen in the eight states that have made marijuana legal for adults".