Before Illinois lawmakers go any further with recreational legalization they wanted to speak to a state with experience, so they turned to Colorado. The Colorado Department of Revenue head told legislators that regulating marijuana in Colorado has cut into the black market. They were also informed that drug abuse treatment/prevention programs are being funded by marijuana tax dollars.
On top of that, regulating recreational and medical marijuana is making the product safer, according to Wisconsin Gazette. Losing hope for this year, legislators are getting their ducks in a row for next session. They’re also learning how to craft the new law, should the discussions lead to legalization.
Senator Heather Steans said, “Prohibition doesn’t work.”
Senator Steans supports taxing and regulating marijuana as it could bring the State of Illinois $350 – $700 million in tax revenues.
Some Illinois law enforcement offices still oppose recreational marijuana legalization. One, Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel, actually seemed offended that his opinion wasn’t asked for.
Chief Weitzel said, “I don’t know why they didn’t reach out before this and ask us for our opinion and see if there’s some compromise. Our officers are the ones doing the enforcement.”
For now, legislators are working behind-the-scenes, still discussing legalization and what moves to make next in order to make recreational marijuana legal in Illinois.