Intro/Lead: MANY IN THE CHAMPAIGN-URBANA COMMUNITY SAY ONE WAY TO INCREASE REVENUE FOR THE STATE IS TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA…
UI-7’S LAINA MARIE HAS MORE.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are currently the only legalized distributors of marijuana within Illinois. The Illinois legislature is taking steps to put the legalization of recreational marijuana on the ballot in the general election. This would essentially mean that Marijuana would no longer would be a criminal offense. An indirect result could be less money pumped into our criminal justice system. But this all depends on who is elected into office.
“I do think it would have a tremendous impact on people who have felony convictions or misdemeanors. And would create job opportunities for those individuals.” – Aaron Ammons: Alderman on Urbana City Council Ward 3
Beyond saving money in the justice system, representatives say that state revenue will increase drastically if legalized.
“The consensus is these days is that the benefits are going to outweigh the costs.” – Diane Marlin: Mayor of Urbana
“Legislators are pushing to get the legalization of marijuana on the ballot in November.” Laina Marie: Stand-Up
The city of Chicago decriminalized recreational marijuana in 2014. Those caught with marijuana are now fined rather than arrested. This act not only reduced crime, but brought more revenue to the city through the fines.
“Legalization and taxation means that we provide another source of revenue. So the economic impact of legalizing recreational marijuana and taxing it is totally positive.” – Eric Jakobsson: Alderman on Urbana City Council Ward 2
“If you qualify, you can get access to medical cannabis. And I think the legalization, outright legalization, regulation and control would immediately mean revenue for the state.” – Aaron Ammons: Alderman on Urbana City Council Ward 3
If legalized, the state could bring in revenue from taxing marijuana.
“If marijuana were legalized, taxed.. There would be people who would be licensed to sell it. And some of that revenue would come to the City of Urbana.” – Eric Jakobsson: Alderman on Urbana City Council Ward 2
In Urbana, I’m Laina marie. UI7 News.