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On Legalizing Pot, Pritzker Says 'Get At It'

Doris Turner, J.B. Pritzker, and Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker thanks supporters at the Sangamon County Democratic Party Headquarters on Monday, December 10, 2018. He was flanked by county party chair and Springfield Ald. Doris Turner, left, and Lt. Gov.-elect Juliana Stratton, right.

Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is making legalizing marijuana one of his top priorities.

Pritzker says he’s already been working out the details with legislators.

“There’s an opportunity for us to be the first state in the Midwest to make it available, and so I think the legislature should get at it,” Pritzker says.

Michigan legalized recreational marijuana last month by referendum. But the state legislature there is looking at rewriting what the voters approved — lowering the tax rate, changing where that money is spent, and banning home-grown plants.

“The good news about being eighth or ninth to get this done is we can look at what works and put it in place in Illinois,” Pritzker says.

So far 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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