Illinois becomes the 11th US state to legalise recreational marijuana

Illinois has become the eleventh state in the US to legalise recreational Marijuana use.

The governor, J. B. Pritzker, signed the legislation in front of a cheering crowd on Tuesday morning in Chicago.

Illinois has become the eleventh state to legalise recreational marijuana use after Governor J. B. Pritzker signed a new legislation.

The law enables residents to purchase and possess up to an ounce of  the drug at a time and 15 grams if you are not a resident. You are allowed a maximum of five privately home-grown plants for personal use, but only for patients approved for the medical marijuana program. Adults over the age of 21 are able to purchase cannabis at approved dispensaries from January 1st 2020. Until then, possession remains a crime.

Governor Pritzker explained, The war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities… Law enforcement across the nation has spent billions of dollars to enforce the criminalisation of cannabis, yet its consumption remains widespread.” 

This new legislation means that nearly 800,00 people with a record for purchasing or possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana also may have those records expunged. The campaign also promises 25% tax revenue from the sales to redevelop impoverished communities while 20% will be dedicated to substance abuse programs.

Chicago democrat Rep. Kelly Cassidy stated,“Today, we’re hitting the reset button on the war on drugs.”