SPRINGFIELD — Attention at the Statehouse is expected to begin focusing on one of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priorities — legalizing recreational marijuana — with the deadline for lawmakers to introduce new bills on Friday.
Two key Chicago Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, have met with interested groups around Illinois and are expected to introduce legislation soon.
Meanwhile, though, Rep. Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, has already introduced a bill that is drawing attention. It would open the door to a much more expansive legal pot industry than most others have envisioned.
Ammons’ bill, the “Cannabis Legalization Equity Act,” would allow anyone 21 or older with valid identification to purchase or sell marijuana. Driving under the influence of the drug would still be illegal, and the legislation makes specific mention that only “legitimate, taxpaying business people” would be permitted to sell cannabis.