Illinois Lawmakers, Advocates Join to Boost Legalization Effort

Published on April 11, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Chicago Urban Cityscape along the Chicago River

Illinois lawmakers are teaming up this week with state and national legalization advocates to push a proposal to regulate and tax cannabis for adult use. On Wednesday morning, Senate and Assembly members will announce the launch of a coalition to support measures that would end prohibition in Illinois. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 am CT in the James R. Thompson Center Press Room, at 100 W. Randolph Street in Chicago.

Among the members of Congress and advocates scheduled to attend are Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago); Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago); Rev. Alexander Sharp, a Chicago-based executive director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy (CNDP); and Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

Steans and Cassidy will discuss the details of the General Assembly’s upcoming first hearing of SB 316 and HB2353. Those bills would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis.

The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell cannabis to adults, basically mimicking what other legal adult-use states have done.

Rev. Sharp, and Lindsey of MPP will discuss the Coalition for a Safer Illinois, which is made up of citizens, community leaders, and local and national organizations, including CNDP, MPP, the ACLU of Illinois, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, and the Illinois chapter of NORML.

Spotlight on the Event

WHAT: News conference to launch the Coalition for a Safer Illinois and announce the next step for legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use

WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 10 a.m. CT

WHERE: James R. Thompson Center Press Room, 15th Floor, 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago

WHO: Sen. Heather Steans, sponsor of SB 316

Rep. Kelly Cassidy, sponsor of HB 2353

Rev. Alexander Sharp, Chicago-based executive director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy

Chris Lindsey, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project

Additional members of the Coalition for a Safer Illinois

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Gage Peake
Gage Peake
Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
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