The first hearing on two Edgewater state legislators’ effort to push recreational marijuana legislation to help solve the state’s financial crisis will be held next week.
Under the proposed law, adults could possess, grow and buy up to an ounce of marijuana. Businesses producing it would have certain labeling and marketing requirements. Marijuana sales revenue would be allocated for schools and educational programs about the harmful effects of marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.
There are currently two bills pending in the General Assembly that propose creating a system for the regulation and taxation of marijuana sales to gain at least $350 million per year for the state.
The bills’ authors, Democratic state Senator Heather Steans and Representative Kelly Cassidy, are receiving support from doctors, law enforcement, clergy and organizations that believe people should not be subjected to the prohibition of marijuana, but rather that it should be treated like alcohol in the eyes of the law through regulation. Legalization could get drug dealers and gangs out of the market, decreasing overall violent crime.
The hearing will serve as a forum to get feedback on the legislation and to hear individual testimonies in order to make any necessary adjustments to it before moving forward. It will be held April 19 at 12pm in the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 North LaSalle Street.