Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we just had a historic weekend in Illinois weed. We got one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana. This will begin January 1, 2020! So many positive things will come out of this huge development. We will create over 24,000 jobs and pour over $500 million into the state’s economy. However, that’s not the best thing about Illinois legalizing pot.
Ok, so what’s the best thing, then?
Here it is: We will expunge a record number of criminal records. Expungement is a key part of the new legislation. The law will remove misdemeanor or Class 4 felony cannabis convictions from records. As a result, over 800,000 people will benefit directly. Yes, you read that correctly. Over 800,000 people.
This is fantastic news for people of color. People of color have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. The change in state law is the beginning of a long process to help make reparations. THAT is the best best thing about Illinois legalizing pot.
So, here’s the next question: What happens after that?
Well, what are we going to do to further help people of color? Every adult who wants a place in the new Illinois cannabis economy should have one. Cleaning up bogus convictions is a great start. But then what?
Well, consider this. Illinois is creating a $20 million low-interest loan program to encourage diversity in cannabis business ownership. How great is that? Again, folks, this is historic, as Illinois is the first state to focus on evening this playing field.
Furthermore, groups such as Chicago NORML have been created. Groups such as these help people of color with jobs and fight stereotypes in cannabis. You can get on the mailing list and find out more here.
Ok, sounds good. So what’s the forecast?
So, we’ve got great times ahead of us, Illinois. Get ready for a prosperous 2020. It’s coming!