Recreational Cannabis Bill Introduced in Illinois

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  “Our outdated cannabis policies stem from the racist fearmongering of a few bureaucrats who were looking for another substance to demonize after the end of alcohol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

22 Comments
  • Kelly Rae Weime
    Posted at 23:18h, 06 September Reply

    Looking forward to that press release! Thank You for all of the hard work, IL NORML. Keep up the great work. With Love from the west side of Chicago, Kelly

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      Posted at 11:19h, 12 February Reply

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      Posted at 15:09h, 18 February Reply

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  • Ruth Flett
    Posted at 06:29h, 07 September Reply

    I would like to stay up to date on current Marijuana related events and legislation. I have suffered from Anxiety and depression and have found cannabis helps me quite a bit in small quantities. I would like to get involved, be able to speak publicly about how this plant has helped me and hope that the prohibition ends. I do not want to take pharmaceutical drugs for my anxiety and depression, I have had terrible side effects to everything that has ever been prescribed to me and have found the best medicine is small doses of marijuana. I have found certain strains work better for me while others are too strong. I am a light smoker and a little goes a long way.

    Thank You,

    Ruth Flett

    • Vanessa Valadez
      Posted at 16:16h, 13 January Reply

      Hello! I am not yet affiliated with NORML, however I am doing my best to help out others with mental illnesses as well. If you’d like to talk more about this. I am also a peer struggling with a mental illness being treated with RX pills.

  • Kevin Miller
    Posted at 12:18h, 09 September Reply

    Will it be affordable now? To quote Willie Nelson: “When will people stop calling this a drug? It’s a weed with a flower on in.”

  • David Majors
    Posted at 06:50h, 24 September Reply

    As a once member of Illinois NormL (1974 at WIU), I’m an ex-patriot Illinoisan who married a Hoosier and so have (probably permanently) moved out of State. Still, I care about my original home State. And…my Mother is a retired teacher in Illinois. So I do have an interest in Illinois’ financial problems. And it seems to me that it would “take some kind of stupid” for the Illinois Statehouse NOT to go the way of Colorado. And was wondering whether you were able to make any progress over there. Here in Indiana (the Mississippi of the North), we’ve passed legal hemp in our Statehouse, unanimously. But no dice on medical or recreational.

    Was wondering if you’re able to do any better over there?

    Now it’s anyone’s guess whether Illinois would be able to gain the tourism that Colorado does, so it’s hard to tell whether, Illinois, would ever be able to proudly proclaim that she had taken in more tax money on weed, than on liquor, like Colorado has in 2015.

    BUT, it is also apparent that the States surrounding Illinois are much MORE populous than those surrounding Colorado. So day tourism, could very possibly cause legalization in Illinois to bring in several times the roughly $100 million that Colorado has taken in this year.

    In any case, while it may not cure more than 5% of Illinois’ budget woes, with a deficit like she has, the State of Illinois cannot AFFORD to leave $100 Million dollar bills, lying in the dirt in the middle of the road. Especially when the only people opposing such a move are those who profit by it remaining illegal; organized crime, the penal, judicial, and legal industries, and Big Pharma.

    With legalization EVERYONE ELSE, especially the taxpayers, benefit.

  • Garin Farmer
    Posted at 13:05h, 30 September Reply

    its about time this state gets up to the times and gets out of the 50s mentality just think of the finacial benefits this could bring and boy do we need it. just think of the money we’d be saving in just the penial system it costs about 50 thousand a year to house and feed a prisoner we wouldnt have to hire as many overpayed prison guards and get those people back in the workforce but i doubt if this horrible governor would sign it and he calls himself a business man

  • Matthew j Rusnak
    Posted at 11:58h, 09 October Reply

    Hey Illinois normal you guys keep pushing we are all behind you I just moved to Illinois from philly where marijuana was decriminalized and I am so excited for this bill I hope it gets passed it would be a dream come true to live in a recreational state and the revenue behind it, hell I would never ever leave this state if you guys get this through all of us in Illinois is rooting for you we have all of had a enough of dealing with marijuana being treated so dangerous and adults being treated like children and looked at as criminals because of a plant !

  • Nate tracy
    Posted at 10:23h, 16 October Reply

    Did they pass 4276? What’s the next step?

  • donald waldron
    Posted at 19:03h, 21 October Reply

    could you please let me know if you have been convicted with a felony are you able to be able to get help with this. thank you for your help.

  • Jose Luis Samano
    Posted at 15:53h, 31 October Reply

    Looking forward. this has to be the best for Illinois .

  • Jerame Copelan
    Posted at 09:59h, 03 December Reply

    Hi my name is Jerame,I suffer from rehmatoid arthritis and fybromyalgia also some other ailments and I have been using concentrate oils to relieve some of my pain while trying to rid myself of the pharmaceuticals the my doctors have me taking and the extract helps 10 times better and its hard to get my Dr’s here in Peoria Illinois to take this treatment seriously so what ever my states men and women can do to get recreational marijuana passed please do it will help alot of ailments that henders millions of lives daily. So please keep me informed.

  • Adam Hennessy
    Posted at 09:35h, 25 January Reply

    Hey Everyone,

    Illinois NORML will be at the Capitol in Springfield this Wednesday the 27th and we need you!

    Carpools are available, text or call me ASAP if you want to join us! We arrive in Springfield between
    9-10am so we typically leave Chicago and the burbs around 5am.

    Contact me directly via text at (312)437-3201.

    We hope you can make it. If not, please voice your support for HB4276 the Tax and Regulate (LEGALIZE IT) Bill!

  • Angel Ray
    Posted at 14:43h, 02 February Reply

    I was devastated this past Friday upon hearing that Governor Rauner declined to add PTSD, Autism, chronic pain etc. to the Compassionate Cannabis Program. My son has Autism and is 4 1/2 years old. He is considered high functioning but still has a lot of rage episodes where he hurts himself or others. His food pallet consists of about 6 food items. He’s underweight and has to be given protein shakes to help supplement nutrients. I have seen many videos and read many articles of Autistic children and adults responding dramatically to a high CBD low THC oil. From being non verbal to verbal. From eating limited foods and malnutrition to eating many foods and becoming healthy. From causing serious bodily injury to themselves and having to be physically restrained for hours a day to no longer hurting themselves and no longer needing restraint. I had such hope to be able to put my son on this oil. It is so upsetting for me when they say that it simply isn’t tested and they don’t have enough data to agree to it. Here’s the rub though. My son has been taking hardcore anti-psychotics since he was 2 years old and still in a crib. These medications have never been tested on children and won’t be because of the possible dangers to their developing brains yet they are being prescribed to toddlers at an alarming rate every single day in this country. I will never stop fighting for this to pass. Just tell me what to do. My son deserves a chance for a better life.

  • David G Ostrow, MD, PhD, LFAPA
    Posted at 01:56h, 06 February Reply

    I too was very disappointed, but not really surprised, when a member of the IL MCP Adisory board told me of the Governor’s and IDPH rejection of all 8 of their recommendations several months ago. But, what is to be expected when an MCP (Medical Cannabis Program) is run for political expediency of the Govenor, House and Senate rather than by physicians and other knowledgeable healthcare providers, researchers and community patient support leaders?? Over and over we have been told that the regulatory, licensing and determination of qualifying conditions would be transparent processes; and, once again we see that they are made in the same smoke filled rooms filled with politicians, lobbyists and big political contributors behind closed doors. If we truly believe we Senator Bernie Sanders, that our politically and financially corrupt Federal government has so changed our “Democratic” system of governance, then we should be protesting outside IL State government buildings in Chicago and Springfield, demanding our rights, and voting out of office those politicians and their political appointees who do not serve the will of the people! I was surprised when IL NORML endorsed Rauner for Govenor based on some vague promises he might have made to get elected. But now that he is our elected Govenor, we can all see for ourselves that his exploitive behaviors as a business man have not really changed, and it’s still “pay to play” here in IL.

  • Dan Linn
    Posted at 07:23h, 06 February Reply

    Illinois NORML never endorsed Gov Rauner before the general election

  • Joe Bonni
    Posted at 12:51h, 21 February Reply

    Hi folks. My name is Joe Bonni. During the 90s I was the Chair of the Massachusetts Chapter of NORML for many years and one of the co-founders and producers of the “Boston Common Freedom Rally” held every September in Beantown. Born and bred in Boston, I was a journalist there (Indy/underground, ran a rock and roll magazine then worked for the big alt-weekly out there, The Boston Phoenix, like the Chicago Reader here, and then co-founded a competing alt-weekly, “DigBoston” before leaving media and moving to Chicago 10 years ago to pursue a PhD at U of C (Anthropology/archaeology). After 10-15 years of activist work in Boston I took a breather during my first few years in Chicago, then my research took me to Syria and France for awhile, but now I’m back in the Windy City and would like to get involved with the local effort to legalize,

    However, I couldn’t find any place here on the website where I could join Illinois NORML, not any info regarding if/when there are open meetings for the general membership (In Massachusetts the Board met monthly but we had quarterly events for the the full chapter membership and annual elections also open to the membership).

    Any info on how I might be able to meet you good folks and get myself up to speed on the efforts here in IL would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for all the good work you’ve done so far and I hope I can help a bit moving forward.

  • David Ko
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    In Illinois, when you go through the process in receiving your medical cannabis card, the Secretary of State puts in you’re driving record that you are a medical cannabis user. That is going against the constitutional right to our privacy. Medical information is private and shouldn’t be shared without our consent. So why would law enforcement need that kind of information? And not include people who drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or even patients who are prescribed to scheduled 2, 3, and 4 type of drugs? I just moved here from California, and Illinois is the only state that has this ridiculous law. We need to stop this!

  • Pat Devlin
    Posted at 18:14h, 07 August Reply

    Well, I too think this law needs to go away. Not long on words, more so on doing something about it.

  • Taylor Kirkman
    Posted at 17:06h, 10 December Reply

    I’m interesting in getting involved. Are there ways for someone to contribute, non-financially?

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