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Here’s What Happened When Illinois Legalized Recreational Marijuana

By Kelsey Marie

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2020 is already off to a good start for the state of Illinois. On Wednesday the state became the 11th to legalize marijuana. 

According to The Hill, residents of Illinois are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, five grams of cannabis concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in edibles. Nonresidents of the state are allowed to possess half the amount of residents. 

Weed dispensaries began selling at 6 a.m., resulting in long lines at locations across Illinois. Due to minor issues with the state database that tracks marijuana sales, there were other complications with purchasing as well. The law also wipes out eligible criminal records resulting from marijuana possession or use which led to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) clearing out more than 11,000 low-level marijuana convictions.

Pritzker said at a press conference on Tuesday: “The war on cannabis has destroyed families. It has filled jails and prisons with nonviolent offenders. It has disproportionately affected black and brown communities.”

There are a total of 43 dispensaries in Illinois that are allowed to sell recreational marijuana but according to USA Today, not one is owned by a woman or person of color. The city’s initial licenses are only being awarded to owners of existing medical cannabis dispensaries, which have little-to-no minority ownership.

Patrons must be at least 21 years old and have a valid state ID or driver’s license. 

Currently, there are more than 30 states that allow the sale of medical marijuana. 

Recreational marijuana is now legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. 

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Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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