marijuana legalization

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Tuesday marks one year since J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as governor of Illinois. Since then, the state has raised its minimum wage, legalized marijuana, and passed several other pieces of legislation long sought by Democrats.

Pritzker marked the occasion with a series of interviews, including with our Statehouse reporter.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Marijuana sales began with more than $3 million in sales on New Year’s Day. Backers of the law, however, say that news ought to take a back seat to the more than 11,000 pardons for past pot convictions Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a day earlier.

J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters in his ceremonial office
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday issued pardons for more than 11,000 low-level marijuana convictions.

graphic for the 2019 installment of the voices in the news feature
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As we close the book on 2019, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to what has been a most consequential year in Illinois government and politics. From novice politicians taking power to a flood of major legislation, these are some of the voices that made news in 2019.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It would be difficult to overstate how consequential the past year was in Illinois government and politics. This week on State Week, the panel looks back at some of the top stories of 2019.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Legal marijuana is coming January 1 — what will that look like in Illinois? Will there be enough supply to meet demand? And what will happen to the black market?

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx personally filed paperwork that led to vacating and expunging the marijuana convictions of more than 1,000 people.

Rick Proctor / Upsplash

Buying and using marijuana will be legal in Illinois as of January 1. We asked top state experts what that does and doesn’t mean, and compiled their answers in this Q&A.

J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters in his ceremonial office
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

More than a thousand Illinoisans with low-level marijuana convictions had their records wiped clean Wednesday. It’s part of the new marijuana legalization coming in January.

FLICKR: CANNABIS CULTURE / ATTRIBUTION 2.0 GENERIC (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers approved the state’s recreational marijuana law earlier this year.  But a leading national advocate is already calling for additional changes.  

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly ended its spring legislative session last weekend, passing what some are calling the most productive session in a generation.

Gov. J.B. Pritzer flanked by senators at a news conference
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly finally finished its annual legislative session this weekend, with lawmakers approving item after item on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda.

Observers and participants are calling it one of the most significant sessions in living memory.

House Speaker Michael Madigan makes a rare visit to the House floor
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Friday is the last day of the Illinois General Assembly’s scheduled spring legislative session, and lawmakers still have a long list of things to do.

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.

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." 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

Chicago Ald. Ed Burke is accused of using his position to steer business to his law firm. The city's longest-serving alderman has ties across government in Illinois and the city — will there be other shoes to drop?

panelist discussing marijuana legalization
Travis Stansel / Illinois Newsroom

The issue of marijuana legalization in Illinois has been hotly debated for years. But assumptions, inaccuracies, and unknowns still fuel arguments on all sides across the state. As vocal legalization supporter and governor-elect J.B. Pritzker prepares to take office, Illinois residents are trying to understand how the potential legalization will affect them. 

Doris Turner, J.B. Pritzker, and Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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

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.

BRENT LEVIN / CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

Some lawmakers say legalizing recreational marijuana should be on the horizon for Illinois. But they admit there are still details to work out.