IL nearing legal recreational marijuana after House vote

IL nearing legal recreational marijuana after House vote

ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Illinois is on track to become the 11th state to legalize marijuana.

A bill allowing anyone over the age of 21 to smoke pot is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

Recreational marijuana is a topic the Governor J.B. Pritzker campaigned on. He’s expected sign the bill. But some local law enforcement in Southern Illinois say they are not too thrilled.

With a bipartisan vote of 66-47 in Illinois, the House approved a bill Friday, passed by the Senate Wednesday.

Alaska, California, Oregon and Colorado are among the 10 states who have already legalized recreation marijuana. Illinois would make 11.

It is only one signature away from becoming law and local law enforcement are already anticipating those changes.

Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe says told 14 News Friday afternoon he is opposed to the legalization, calling the measure “bad legislation.”

“I mean, they don’t want to take the lessons of according to one statistic I read in Colorado, where it increased traffic accidents from impaired drivers and things of that nature,” Sheriff Boewe recalled.

A move, Boewe says, could make it more difficult for law enforcement across the state. Boewe gave the example of how it could be deceptive to drug dogs.

“And the guy shows us that he’s got a medical marijuana card or the recreational amount, especially if he’s covering up that he’s packing cocaine or meth,” Boewe added.

The bill allows anyone 21 or older to buy and use pot from licensed dispensaries.

Prizker’s office did not give a timeframe from when he might sign the law, which would go into effect January 1, 2020.

Residents could possess up to 1 ounce, that’s 30 grams.

It could also expunge the criminal records of people convicted of minor pot possession.

Recreational marijuana is expected to bring in $58 million dollars in 2020.

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