Weed will help Illinois

Emma Murphy, Opinion Writer

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With Governor J.B. Pritzker in office, we are finally going to get what we want: legalization of marijuana in Illinois. If we don’t support the legalization of marijuana, we would largely be missing out largely.
Pritzker has stated he supports recreational use. He believes taxes on legalized marijuana could bring in $700 million to $1 billion a year.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the first bill emerged to legalize marijuana in January.
The bill would allow licensed businesses to grow and sell marijuana and residents to grow up to 24 plants at home. The bill would also require 10 percent of the net income of a marijuana business to go to the local governing body, while also creating a relatively low 10 percent excise tax to generate state revenue. And it would include special provisions for minority business owners and communities.
Senator Carol Ammons’ bill would create a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana and send 30 percent of the proceeds to a state school fund, 50 percent to the General Fund, and 2.5 percent each to the State Employees Retirement Pension, Teachers Retirement System, State Universities Retirement System, and to Illinois State Police to hire and train drug enforcement officers.
This bill is a great first step in making marijuana legal. It proposes many great things for Illinois.
First, cannabis will bring a huge amount of money to Illinois. We can use this money to better so many things in our state.
According to a November 2018 report by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, if the state were to legalize recreational cannabis use, Illinois would generate more than $500 million in tax revenues, create more than 23,000 jobs and boost the state’s economy by $1 billion annually.
The decriminalization of marijuana would bring big change to Illinois, but mostly Chicago. Legalizing marijuana is a step forward in reforming our broken criminal justice system.
Criminalizing marijuana hasn’t made our communities safer. What it has done is disproportionately impact black and brown communities. There are way too many people who have gone to prison for marijuana related offenses. The criminalization of marijuana has never been and-never will be-enforced fairly.
Many arguments for not legalizing marijuana is that it impairs the user and causes the user to make bad decisions.
Cigarettes do way more damage than marijuana will ever do to your body. Cigarettes kill more than 400,000 people a year, but scientists haven’t found that marijuana does any real medical harm to your body.
Yes, marijuana impairs your judgment, but alcohol does the same thing and alcohol has been legalized since prohibition. Didn’t we learn anything from prohibition? If we criminalize something it’s going to make the people want it even more. Not to mention the illegal routes are unsafe and do more harm to users
Marijuana is coming and it’s a great thing. Marijuana will bring in many profits for Illinois and will help us out of debt.

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