Legal recreational marijuana may become a reality in Illinois if a group of lawmakers get the details worked out. Senator Heather Steans introduced legislation earlier this year. According to Steans, the legal market in Illinois could generate $350-million or more annually in tax revenue.
The revenues would go toward regulatory oversight, substance abuse treatment/prevention programs and public awareness, according to Peoria Public Radio. There are opponents to legalization, like the Illinois Family Institute. David Smith of Illinois Family Institute says “the assertion that legalization would be worth potential profits is farfetched”.
Steans said, “Substance abuse treatment and prevention, certainly a public awareness campaign against illegal drug use. Finally, I think education makes a lot of sense.”
Smith thinks recreational legalization is a public health and safety threat.
Smith said, “We really don’t think it’s a good idea to have or encourage a more inebriated society. We don’t need more inebriated, intoxicated citizens on the street.”
Those supporting legalization say that police would be able to focus time and resources on violent crime.
Steans is working on re-drafting her proposal to reintroduce it in the coming year.