I received the following message out of Illinois today:
State lawmakers continued their in-depth look at cannabis policy reform yesterday as they heard testimony on the economic boost Illinois could expect following the end of marijuana prohibition. Travel guru Rick Steves, Colorado State Rep. Dan Pabon, economist Adam Orens, and several Illinois business owners discussed the benefits and challenges Illinois could expect upon adopting a better law.
Lawmakers made clear they are increasingly engaged on the topic of legalization. Not only would legalization provide revenue to the state and allow law enforcement to focus on other things, it could provide a shot in the arm for Illinois’ lagging economy. It means new skilled labor jobs — many of which are in rural communities — along with more work for contractors, suppliers, publishers, and accountants, and more income for all those who will contribute to the new economy.
Unfortunately, criminals in Illinois will continue to run that economy until we do something different. Legalization offers tools to push criminals out of the state. We already have some of the strongest cannabis business regulations in the country, and we should apply those lessons to the adult consumption market.
It was a good hearing, and plans are underway for the next one, which we expect in January.
Thank you to all those who support this important change! Please pass this message to your network and help spread the word.
Coalition for a Safer Illinois