Public Hearing For Proposal To Legalize Pot For Recreational Use

Lawmakers introduce bills calling for marijuana legalization, taxation

The new legislation would put the state in charge of regulating and licensing businesses to grow, distribute and sell marijuana.

A $50 per ounce sales tax would be placed on wholesale purchases, and retail sales would be taxed at 6.25 percent, the current sales tax for IL.

Using Colorado, where recreational marijuana use is legal, as a gauge, the Marijuana Policy Project projected IL could generate between $349 million and $699 per year on marijuana if prohibition were lifted and the drug were allowed to be sold and taxed. Sale and use of recreational marijuana is now legal in seven states and Washington, D.C. IL began its medical marijuana pilot program in 2013.

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Asked if Gov. Bruce Rauner would consider signing either piece of legislation, spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the two bills were under review.

Cassidy said marijuana prohibition creates far more problems than it prevents. Heather Steans, filed the bill on Wednesday in Springfield. "The data on emergency room visits, auto crashes, graduation rates and absenteeism takes a lot longer".

Department of Public Heath: 20 percent - This would be divided equally between "evidence-based, voluntary programs for the prevention or treatment of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis abuse" and "a scientifically and medically accurate public education campaign educating youth and adults about the health and safety risks of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis". But without a broad qualifying condition like chronic pain, as some other states have, the number of patients has been limited to about 17,000, with current retail sales of about $5 million a month.

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Steans noted, the state of Oregon collected more than $60 million in new revenue from a tax on marijuana - more than six times what the Oregon Liquor Control Commission expected for the 2015-2017 budget period.

Under the proposed new law, marijuana would be restricted under the law in much the same as is alcohol under state law. But he said the medical marijuana law is limited, and a lot of municipalities had previously decriminalized cannabis, so the effects were muted.

The Marijuana Policy Project reports eight states have enacted laws regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use.

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