Illinois legalizes recreational cannabis, tilting the scales again toward national end to prohibition

It is far past time to face the music, folks;  Cannabis will be legal, nationwide, in the very near future.

Even if you don’t enjoy smoking marijuana recreationally, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate.  In states where legalization has already occurred, taxpayers are reaping the financial rewards of a well-regulated, ultra-prosperous industry based around a plant nicknamed “weed” for its ability to grow quickly, just about anywhere.

We can’t grow money on trees just yet, but this might be the next best thing.

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Furthermore, with increased research being allowed thanks to the relaxation of state laws regarding cannabis, we are learning that the plant contains a number of medicinally valuable chemicals and compounds that don’t require, (and don’t benefit from), the psychoactive “high” of THC.

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Now jumping on the bandwagon, and pressuring Washington DC in the process, is the great State of Illinois.

Illinois on Tuesday became the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that permits residents to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis at a time and non-residents up to 15 grams.

The move, which fulfills one of Pritzker’s campaign promises, also implements the nation’s first comprehensive statewide cannabis marketplace designed by legislators. It also means that nearly 800,000 people with criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less may have those records expunged.

The law provides for cannabis purchases by adults 21 and older at approved dispensaries, which, after they are licensed and established, may start selling Jan. 1, 2020. That means possession remains a crime until then, a spokesman for Senate Democrats said.

The maneuver will also take a great deal of cash out of the marijuana black market – something that could help to curb the egregious amount of gang violence that has besieged the City of Chicago over the course of the last three and a half decades.

Currently more than 30 states in the US have some form of legal, medicinal, or decriminalized cannabis, putting the onus squarely on Capitol Hill to reexamine the federal ban on the plant.

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