Illinois politicians celebrate legal recreational marijuana

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CHICAGO — Many dreamed of legal recreational marijuana in Illinois, including the politicians who pushed for it.

Early this morning at Sunnyside Dispensary in Lakeview, Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton purchased edible THC gummies.

“I might try one,” she said. “It’s legal in Illinois. We know that people had been using cannabis previously and now it will be safe.”

Residents 21 and over can legally purchase cannabis up to 30 grams or about one ounce of marijuana plant, edibles up to 500mg of THC or five grams of cannabis concentrate products.

Consumption in public is prohibited.

It’s also not allowed in cars, on school grounds or near someone under 21. School bus drivers, police officers, firefighters and correction officers are not allowed to use it.

Also, landlords and employers can ban use.

The taxes are steep. The state will take between 10 to 25 percent of the purchase depending on the percentage of THC in the product.

Local municipalities are prohibited from collecting taxes on sales until September. Then, in Chicago, a three percent excise tax goes into effect.

“This is a day worth remembering and a day to celebrate, “ 47th Ward Ald. Matt Martin said.

On Monday, Gov. Pritzker pardoned 11,000 low-level marijuana convictions.

"That’s just the beginning we have hundreds of thousands who will be eligible for getting their records expunged,” Lt. Gov. Stratton said. "That’s a big deal.”

The state will collect millions in fees and taxes associated with recreational pot. Chicago expects a big haul too.

The Mayor’s Office projects $3.5 million in tax revenue this year.

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