State Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced legislation last March to legalize recreational cannabis in Illinois, but the bills failed in both houses of the Legislature.
A lot has since changed in Illinois politics, and the Chicago Democrats now plan to give it another try.
On Election Day, pro-pot Democrat J.B. Pritzker cruised to victory past Gov. Bruce Rauner and fellow Democrats expanded the party’s majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. On top of that, powerful Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan announced last week that he now supports Pritzker’s proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use.
When lawmakers reconvene in January for the first legislative session of the new year, Steans and Cassidy plan to introduce new legislation aimed at fully legalizing weed.
“It is a more encouraging landscape, for sure,” Steans said. “Particularly since Governor Rauner had been pretty outspoken in opposing [legalization].”
“It definitely has shifted the environment and we think that it gives us a lot more momentum to get it passed in the General Assembly in short order,” she added. [Read more at Chicago Sun Times]