Illinois Becomes 11th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

(Photo Credit: Jason Hoffman/Thrillist)

When will it go into effect?

It was a big win for marijuana users on Tuesday when Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Making the Midwestern state the 11th in the country to legalize the drug.

The signing of the bill also marks the fulfillment of the Democratic governor’s campaign promise when running for office last year. The legislation is not only a win for those who smoke, but for those who have criminal records as a result of purchasing or possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana. With this new bill, 800,000 people will have their criminal records expunged.

The new law will not go into effect until January 1, 2020, but it earmarks a quarter of the tax revenue from the sale of cannabis to redevelop impoverished communities in the state and gives vendor preference to minority owners.

“Legalizing adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do,” Pritzker said in a statement. “This legislation will clear the cannabis-related records of nonviolent offenders through an efficient combination of automatic expungement, gubernatorial pardon, and individual court action.”

Illinois residents who are 21 and older to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in products such as edibles.

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