As Deadline Gets Closer, Will Illinois Legalize Recreational Marijuana?
May 31st will be here before you know it and with comes the deadline for a highly debated topic amongst Illinois lawmakers.
Both sides of the aisle are still trying to figure out how to go about legalizing marijuana.
State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) has said:
"It's more than just saying it's a legal boom. There's a lot to it, There's a lot of people who are for it, and there's a lot of people who are against it,"
One lawmaker thinks there shouldn't be a rush to push legalization due to potential drawbacks.
State Senator Andrew Chesney (R) told MyStateline.com:
Well, if you take a look at what it's done in Colorado, homelessness has gone up, DUI's have gone up. There's been many, many factors that those who are in opposition of this would point to as the result of legalization of marijuana,"
Chesney continued that the ones who are against legalization the most are those in law enforcement:
Our men and women in uniform are strongly in opposition to this," he said. "We can all dig back to when we were all kids and we participated in D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). This was a drug we were told not to partake in and now, to legalize it, when no successful state has done so, is going to be very, very problematic."
But West counters by saying that this could greatly lead to a rise in minority business owners.
This discussion will continue to be debated for a while. But Governor Pritzker has said that he wants a bill to legalize marijuana on his desk by the end of the session on May 31st, which he would then sign into law.