Illinois just became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into effect on Tuesday that will automatically expunge and pardon the records of 800,000 state residents with a record of non-violent small scale cannabis possession.
“Today Illinois is demonstrating everything that can be accomplished when we set aside our comfort with the status quo and instead govern with the belief that our best days are ahead,” said Governor Pritzker at a press conference. “With this legislation our state is once again a leader.”
January 1 is the start date for the bill, which establishes that people who live in Illinois can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. The limit is half that for visitors to the state. Adults 21 years old and up will be able to purchase at licensed dispensaries. Until January 1, marijuana possession remains illegal in the state.
“We got here because we had a governor who fully supported it, and knew we had to do it with a social justice lens,” said the bill’s sponsor Senator Heather Steans.
Illinois is the first state to fully legalize recreational marijuana through the legislative, as opposed to a ballot measure utilized