The midterm election win of Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker signals one less barrier between Illinois and the legalization of adult-use cannabis, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Pritzker said shortly after being sworn in on Wednesday that legalization was an issue Illinois could work on “nearly right away,” telling FOX 32 he would also look at vacating citizens’ prior cannabis convictions.
Notably, a cannabis-friendly governor does not mean that such reforms are guaranteed, as a legalization bill still must make it through the legislature and many lawmakers remain opposed. But, with Democrats strengthening their hold on both of Illinois’ legislative chambers after the midterms, advocates expect the real legalization debate will come down to how, not if, and will focus heavily on where cannabis tax dollars will go in the state budget.
“I suspect it’s a done deal. People see it as a new source of revenue. The true battle will be over who gets their cut of it taxwise.” — Pat Brady, cannabis consultant and lobbyist, via The Chicago Tribune
Officials say they will propose a legalization bill early next year.
Latest polling data suggests that two-thirds of Americans support the federal legalization of adult-use cannabis. There are now ten U.S. states that have ended cannabis prohibition entirely.