Illinois’ debt per student is the 11th highest of any state in the nation. It is almost 15 percent higher than the national average of $8,764.View Report
Two bills to legalize marijuana currently sit in Springfield.
The popular Chicago-based game company is helping efforts to legalize and regulate marijuana, which could extend to Illinois.
Senate Bill 1294 creates the Industrial Hemp Act, which would require licensing for “any person desiring to grow, process, cultivate, harvest, process, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”
A proposed amendment to Illinois’ Criminal Identification Act would allow people to petition to have their arrest and conviction records cleared of any cannabis-related offenses that Illinois ultimately takes off the books through marijuana legalization.
Illinoisans of all ages, political party affiliations and regions of the state favor legalizing marijuana and regulating and taxing it like alcohol, as provided in legislation proposed by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy on March 22.
“By singling out medical cannabis organizations,” Judge Lee wrote, the state of Illinois appeared to be favoring certain speakers based on their viewpoints – precisely the type of discrimination the Supreme Court has disapproved of in the past.
Under state Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s proposal, Illinoisans age 21 and older could legally possess, manufacture and sell marijuana.
Effective immediately, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in Illinois is punishable by a fine, instead of a misdemeanor with possible jail time.
A compromise among Illinois’ legislative leaders will extend the length and scope of Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program.
Imposing civil fines instead of criminal penalties for marijuana possession is a smart first step toward changing how the state deals with low-level, nonviolent crimes.