Marijuana Legalization Bills Advance in Vermont and IL

Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza testifies. He was introduced by Dr. William A. Petit who is a state representative from Plainville

Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza testifies. He was introduced by Dr. William A. Petit who is a state representative from Plainville

170. Sponsored by Rep. Maxine Grad (D), Rep. Charles Conquest (D), and Rep. Thomas Burditt (R), the bill would legalize the possession of no more than one ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of no more than "two mature marijuana plants and four immature marijuana plants", according to theVermont Digger.

Lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in IL but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year. Heather Steans, of Chicago, would make it legal for IL residents 21 years of age and older to have up to 28 grams - 1 ounce - of marijuana.

"Regulating marijuana and removing the criminal element from marijuana production and sales will make our communities safer", she said.

Both bills call for taxing marijuana at $50 per ounce, wholesale level, plus the standard IL sales tax rate. As Illinois' rapidly growing budget deficit threatens tocripple the state, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) projects the state could generate some much-needed revenue should they choose to legalize recreational pot.

While introducing the identical bills, Steans told the General Assembly Wednesday that legalizing recreational use of marijuana was the next step.

Average gas prices in IL continue to rise
Gasoline prices between February 15 and March 20, 2009 fell a cent, while they rose 29 cents in 2016 during the same time period. Fuel prices were well over $3 a gallon in the few years prior to 2015 when oil prices hovered near $100 a barrel.

Yesterday, bills were introduced in both the state's Senate and House targeting the legalization of adult-use marijuana.

The governor's office is reviewing the bills. "The data on emergency room visits, auto crashes, graduation rates and absenteeism takes a lot longer". Retail sales would be subject to the standard 6.25 percent state sales tax.

Sen. Heather Steans, sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, notes that Oregon collected more than $60 million in new revenue from a tax on marijuana - more than six times what the Oregon Liquor Control Commission expected for the 2015-2017 budget period - and Colorado collected more than $140 million from taxes on legal weed sales.

"I think this does a good job of being very reasonable", Illinois NORML Executive Director Dan Linn said.

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