Illinois Legislature legalizes marijuana for adults!

As we celebrate this history-making progress, make a contribution to MPP to help us support smooth implementation of the law.

Big news! Lawmakers in Springfield just approved legislation to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has championed legalization.

With the governor's signature, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize marijuana for adults and the first to approve legal sales through the state legislature rather than a ballot measure. Legal marijuana sales are scheduled to begin on January 1, 2020.

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) will legalize the possession and purchase of up to 30 grams of marijuana for adults and establish an inclusive, regulated market for cultivators, processors, retail stores, and testing labs.

Crafting a bill that could get past the finish line involved a long and difficult negotiation process. Although we weren't able to get everything we hoped to see (such as home cultivation and delivery for adults), the bill is an enormous step forward. It will help hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans and set a new standard for addressing the harms caused by decades of marijuana prohibition.

The CRTA includes far-reaching expungement provisions, funding for communities hard hit by the drug war, and assistance to business applicants operated by those harmed by prohibition or from areas of disproportionate impact. It also legalizes home cultivation for patients. Read a complete summary of the legislation here.

This victory is the result of a collective effort, and there are so many to thank for their support: MPP donors who made our years-long advocacy effort possible; legislative champions Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Toi Hutchinson, and Rep. Jehan Gordon; Gov. Pritzker; our dedicated lobbyists Pete Baroni and Kareem Kenyatta; Sen. Steans' cannabis policy staffer Rose Ashby; Clergy for a New Drug Policy; and all the individuals and organizations who worked to move the legislation forward.

We wouldn't be able to do this work without the support of those who contribute. Please consider making a donation today to help us ensure Illinois' legalization law is implemented quickly and smoothly, and to help us roll back prohibition in other states.

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Historic National Support for Marijuana!

A new Gallup poll released yesterday shows that a record-high of 50% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be made legal. That’s up from 46% just one year ago.

This is the first time we've hit the 50% mark on this highly respected annual survey, so this is significant.

Even the folks at Gallup seem to have a sense something historic is happening. As they noted in the release accompanying the survey results, “If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes.”

On average, public support for making marijuana legal was increasing by 1.4% annually from 1995 to 2010. So the fact that there has been an increase of 4% in a single year not only shows that we’re making continued progress, but that we’re actually seeing an acceleration in progress.

As you know, MPP is spearheading a signature drive in Colorado for a ballot initiative that -- if passed in November 2012 -- would make the possession, use, and regulated production and distribution of marijuana legal for adults. This initiative is the best chance we’ve ever had to end marijuana prohibition in any state.

And today’s national Gallup poll shows that the Colorado polling is spot on. Specifically, recent Colorado polling has shown that at least 51% of Colorado voters support ending marijuana prohibition, which makes sense given that Colorado voters are more supportive than voters nationwide.

We need your help to turn these poll numbers into election results. Each signature needed to get the initiative on the ballot in Colorado costs $1 to collect. Would you please sponsor 10, 50, 100, or even 1,000s of signatures so that the campaign can wrap up the signature drive and start educating voters about the initiative?

Thank you.


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