Illinois Senate passes recreational marijuana bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 38-17 Wednesday to allow recreational use of marijuana like 10 other states. The Illinois proposal allows those 21 and older to have up to one ounce (30 grams).

Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans originally proposed allowing anyone to keep five plants in their homes. Steans’ final version allows only the 65,000 Illinois patients qualified for the medical-cannabis law to grow their own.

So-called home grow rules have proved troublesome in other states. States with legalized recreational use have different home grow rules.

Opponents say home grow encourages black-market sales. Proponents argue that if businesses can sell it, they should be able to grow it.

Gov. JB Pritzker (D, Illinois) praised the Senate Wednesday night. “Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation that put equity and criminal justice reform at the heart of its approach to legalizing cannabis, and I’m grateful that the Senate has taken this important step with a bipartisan vote,” he said in a statement.

The Illinois measure heads to the House for consideration.

Bobby Oler @bobbyoler

Bobby Oler @bobbyoler

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