The state of Illinois currently has a medical marijuana program in place and it has decriminalized marijuana, what’s next for the state? A suggested primary ballot referendum to suggest that there is a real possibility that it will be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana.
This March, the voters of Cook County will see a vote on their primary election ballots. Cook County’s Commissioners John Fritchey and Luis Arroyo have conveyed their desire in legalizing recreational marijuana not only in Cook County, but throughout the entire state. Commissioner Fritchey said that legalization would generate a projected $500 million for the state of Illinois in tax revenue.
That’s a nice amount to consider for state programs to improve the lives of the Illinois residents. Nevada reported that the first month of recreational sales generated roughly $3.7 million in tax revenue and other states like Colorado and Oregon have reported solid tax revenues from it as well. Although, revenue is not the only reasoning the state is considering recreational legalization.
Last year, lawmakers decriminalized possession of marijuana under 10 grams. If it was discovered you were in possession under the allotted amount, you are only subject to paying a fine between $100 to $200 at the time of the arrest. The issue with this is, while marijuana is decriminalized one would still have an arrest for drug possession on record. This offense negatively impacts career prospects and even obtaining a loan.
In the next week, Commissioners John Fritchey and Luis Arroyo will recommend the referendum to the Cook County Board. If the Board approves their recommendation, the marijuana vote will be seen on the primary ballot this March.
Illinois is on course to be the next state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana. Check back in March to find out which direction the state’s residents chose.