Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in Illinois [January 1, 2020]

Chicago, June 25, 2019 — Surrounded by supporters, including at least one Republican House member, Gov Pritzker today signed another landmark piece of legislation into law today. It’s just one of the major pieces of legislation that came out of the historic Spring session of the legislature.

Rep Kelly Cassidey (D-Chicago) who was the House sponsor of the bill, said again today at the signing ceremony, “What a difference a Governor makes.”

But it’s not just the Governor, it’s the strong majorities in both the House and Senate of the Democratic members of the Governor’s party that can virtually guarantee a bill’s passage. Though, Cassidy noted Gov Pritzker was heavily involved in the crafting of the bill’s elements and its passage.

It’s certainly true this law does not merely make marijuana legal for recreational use. It also looks to help fund people in minority neighborhoods to get into the retail sale of marijuana from pot shops — or even become a grower. It also looks to expunge the criminal records of those minor pot sellers who were convicted of selling 30 grams or less of pot — as long as they were never involved in a violent criminal act.

Supporters say this will both bring more money into minority communities AND help lower the unemployment rate in minority neighborhoods, as having a criminal conviction on your record is often blocking individuals from getting a job, or getting a good job.

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