Puff Puff Passed
June 25, 2019

Starting next year, the Windy City might also become a very ... hungry city.

Tuesday afternoon, the Illinois state legislature voted to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana, Vox reports. Illinois is now the eleventh state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, although the drug remains illegal under federal law. The bill passed the state House in May, in a 66-47 vote, before being sent to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign.

The legalization of recreational marijuana was a campaign promise of recently-elected Pritzker, a former businessman and philanthropist who defeated incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner last November.

The law, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, will also expunge arrests for marijuana possession up to 30 grams by non-violent offenders. One-fifth of all revenue received from marijuana taxes will fund mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities, and a quarter will support marijuana business ownership in communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

In Chicago, the number of arrests for marijuana possession has been dropping for years, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2011, more than 21,000 people were arrested, but that number dropped to 129 in 2017, following new sentencing guidelines.

"Illinoisans have had enough," Pritzker told the Chicago Tribune. "This legalization of adult use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it's the right thing to do." Watch Pritzker officially sign the bill below. Steven Orlofsky

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