Illinois considers legalizing marijuana for a fiscal boost, local …

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — Recreational marijuana could be part of the solution to Illinois’ budget crisis but local lawmakers say it probably won’t happen anytime soon.

Two Chicago democrats say legalizing small amounts of the drug for adults at licensed businesses could raise between $350 and $700 million in tax revenue.

They say it will also create new jobs and boost tourism. At Roll A Smoke in Rockford, owner Lovevina Perez says she would welcome the new law, but says she would keep the tobacco shop but open a separate dispensary.

“A lot of people are uncomfortable too in the beginning. They don’t want to go where they’re seeing all this product where it’s new to them, you don’t want to overwhelm them, they still have that stereotypical picture in their head,” says Perez.

Senators Dave Syverson and Steve Stadelman say at this point, they’re both opposed to the bill.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state lawmakers are considering a proposal that could make Illinois the first state in the Midwest and the ninth nationally to legalize recreational pot.

Two Chicago Democrats introduced legislation last week that would legalize small amounts of marijuana for adults and license businesses to sell cannabis products. They argue it would help solve the state’s budget crisis.

Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy say the move could raise between $350 to $700 million in tax revenue, create new jobs and bolster tourism.
But they know the proposal could face opposition from fellow lawmakers. They plan to jumpstart conversations with legislators, interest groups and the public this spring but won’t move legislation this session.

The Illinois Association of Police Chiefs opposes the legislation over traffic safety concerns.

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