cannabis

Cassidy debate
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois is poised to become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana after lawmakers approved a massive 610-page proposal that is touted as one of the most equitable in the country. 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

Note: The show was taped during the noon hour on Friday, while debate and negotiations at the Statehouse were still ongoing.

On the final day of the Regular Legislative Session, lawmakers continued to work on finalizing the state budget, along with votes still to come on a constitutional amendment to switch Illinois to a graduated income tax, legalization of marijuana, expansion of gambling, and abortion legislation.  WTTW's Amanda Vinicky joins the panel.

Sens. Healther Steans and Toi Hutchinson celebrate passage of the recreational cannabis legislation in the Illinois Senate
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois state Senate approved a proposal on Wednesday to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older beginning on January 1, 2020. 

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois gets an April surprise — $1.5 billion in unexpected revenue — as lawmakers debate what the windfall means. The public also got its first look at the long-anticipated language in a proposal that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Meanwhile, an audit found that child abuse and neglect investigations suffered during the budget impasse of 2015-17, and lawmakers advanced legislation that would more than double the gas tax in order to pay for infrastructure building and repair.

adapted photo from Heath Alseike/flickr

Growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes in Illinois is legal, and it's looking more likely that the state will legalize a recreational program as well. But one crucial component that remains illegal is for banks to do business with marijuana-related companies. 

BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget – on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies. 

Flickr: Cannabis Culture / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois has been mulling over the idea of legalizing recreational cannabis for years. While some proponents tout it as a social justice issue, others focus on the additional revenue it could bring in for the cash-strapped state.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois

As Illinois explores the possibility of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, the state’s six Catholic bishops say they’re urging lawmakers to say "no." 

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

When talking about legalizing recreational cannabis in Illinois, the conversation has shifted from “if” to “when.” Still, many residents have questions and concerns about what such a program would mean for the state. Lawmakers pushing for a legalized program held a meeting in Springfield on Monday where they attempted to clear up any confusion and gather feedback from residents. 

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

With the recent approval of an industrial hemp program in Illinois, farmers will soon be able to grow the crop as an agriculture commodity. For years, similar measures were introduced in the General Assembly but failed to generate enough support, primarily because of the stigma associated with the plant. 

J.B. Pritzker and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he expects to work “very well” with Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker and will support two of Pritzker’s major proposals.

Marcia O'Connor, Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hemp has been used for centuries to make rope, fishnets, paper, car parts, fuel and much more. It’s an unruly crop. It’s skinny, it’s tall, but what has made it controversial is that it’s a derivative of the cannabis plant.

Flickr: Cannabis Culture / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved a measure allowing the use of cannabis as an alternative to opioids. Under the plan, patients could get immediate -- but temporary -- access to cannabis with just a doctor’s certification. 

CL DESIGN LLC / Maribis

The state’s medical cannabis pilot program  has three more years before it is set to expire. Despite the looming deadline, dispensaries continue to open across the state, offering treatment alternatives to patients with cancer, PTSD, Lupus—and many other health conditions.

Amanda Vinicky

A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program. The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

More than 10,000 Illinois residents are certified to use marijuana for medical purposes; Kyla Travis, a Springfield resident who has multiple sclerosis, is one of them.

"I'm almost 60 years old. I was diagnosed when I was 17. So for these many years, they had me on opiates," she says.

Wikimedia Commons/user: Bogdan

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is open to decriminalizing marijuana.

Rauner has a goal of reforming the criminal justice system. One way to do that, advocates say: issuing civil penalties for low-level drug charges.