Illinois Looks at Legalizing Pot

While it's unlikely that legislation will come up for a vote until 2018, at the earliest, lawmakers in Illinois have introduced bills that would make it legal for adults in the state to possess, grow and buy marijuana.

The state would regulate businesses that grow, process and sell marijuana, while taxing cannabis at a rate of $50 per ounce (wholesale) and slapping a 6.25 percent sales tax on top of that. The Marijuana Policy Project, a national advocacy group, estimates that Illinois could see anywhere from $350 million to $700 million a year in marijuana-based revenue.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police opposes legalization -- in part because it could cause confusion in law enforcement, as it conflicts with federal statutes -- but Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Democrat from Chicago's North Side, argued that regulating marijuana "and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer." Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan have not yet weighed in on the issue.

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Sourced from: Chicago Tribune