Could Illinois legalize recreational marijuana? Proposal on the - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Could Illinois legalize recreational marijuana? Proposal on the table.

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CHICAGO (WEEK) -- -

Lawmakers are looking at recreational marijuana as a possible source of revenue.

House and Senate committees met in Chicago for their fourth meeting about the taxing and regulation of legalized recreational cannabis.

There are two bills being proposed that will allow residents to carry up to one ounce of marijuana. The drug would be regulated like alcohol.

The proposals would also add a $50 excise tax on growers, and buyers would pay state sales tax.

But before any votes the committees have been looking at other states that have legalized marijuana, economic development, law enforcement, and public health.

"As we strive to preserve and protect our communities, we need resources. We waste millions of dollars on prosecuting residents on low levels of drug charges including possession of small amounts of marijuana that are often dropped before or at trial,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

"If you pass this legislation are you prepared to talk to the families of people that will be killed on Illinois Highways, because that clearly will happen?" said Peter Bensinger, former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The state senator who proposed one of the two bills said that prohibition doesn't work. There is no set date for the bills to be called to a vote.

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