If a group of state lawmakers have their way, Illinois will become the eighth state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana. State Senator Heather Steans joined State Rep. Kelly Cassidy to propose the bill in Springfield on Wednesday. Illinois has just begun getting medical marijuana grown and distributed to patients, and the possibility of recreational use has excited growers and activists. Recreational and medical use of the drug are still illegal on the federal level, and states may face crackdowns under the new Trump administration.
But Illinois lawmakers are forging ahead, arguing that legalization could help reduce crime and raise revenue at a time when the state is in dire financial straits.
Morning Shift talks to State Senator Heather Steans about the proposed bill and answers listeners’ questions about marijuana in Illinois.