02 Sep Recreational Cannabis Bill Introduced in Illinois
A historical bill to end the failed prohibition on cannabis has been filed in the Illinois General Assembly today. State Representative Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) has filed House Bill 4276 that would allow adults over the age of 21 to legally grow and consume cannabis, something that no other bill has done since the 1970s. The bill would also allow for licensed retailers, commercial growers, as well as the private non-commercial production of cannabis. The bill comes at a time when lawmakers are looking for ways to add revenue to state budget and create jobs.
While the chances of the bill passing both chambers very soon are low, this step will begin this important conversation and with the state needing to add revenue, cannabis legalization and taxation must be on the table for a debate. Advocates for the legalization of cannabis applauded Representative Dunkin for taking the lead on this issue.
“Adults in Illinois should not be punished for growing or consuming this plant.” commented Dan Linn, Executive Director of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. “Our outdated cannabis policies stem from the racist fearmongering of a few bureaucrats who were looking for another substance to demonize after the end of alcohol prohibition. There wasn’t any scientific reason to make this plant illegal in the first place and only now, more than 75 years later are we beginning to end this injustice.” Linn added.
Illinois NORML Assistant Director Ali Nagib added, “We’ve seen the steps towards ending this failed policy taken in several states including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska with many more looking to follow suit in the near future. These new policies have been received favorably in the states that have begun to implement them and we hope that Illinois will see the many advantages to taxing and regulating cannabis like alcohol and start looking to do the same.”
Dan Linn (847) 341-0591
Ali Nagib (847) 494-1610