Governor of Illinois Reveals Plan to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ran on a pro-pot platform and made cannabis legalization a priority when elected to office last year. Now, it seems like he may be making good on his promises to voters; local news channel WQAD 8 reports that on Saturday in Chicago, Pritzker announced that he’s “reached an agreement with key lawmakers” on a measure that would make it legal for adults 21 years and up to purchase marijuana.

If approved by policy makers, Pritzker said the plan could go into effect by the beginning of next year, with licenses issued to growing operations, processing sites, and dispensaries by May to July of 2020.

He said that debate will be opened in the state legislature on the measure starting Monday.

The plan also includes proposals to alleviate the negative effects that decades of the Drug War have left on some of Illinois’ most vulnerable communities. Low interest loans would be provided to cannabis entrepreneurs who are or who have been residents of neighborhoods that suffered from elevated levels of cannabis policing, via a proposed $20 million program. Also eligible for the financial boost would be individuals who have certain kinds of cannabis-related offenses on their criminal

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