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Illinois Senate approves recreational marijuana use

Marijuana, Photo Date: July 27, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate approved legalized recreational marijuana use on Wednesday night.

Restrictions on home cultivation and a tightened process for clearing past pot convictions helped move the plan to passage. The Democratic-led chamber approved it 38-17 Wednesday night.

The measure would allow residents 21 and older to buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Possession of up to once ounce (30 grams) would be allowed for residents. Non-residents could possess 15 grams.

Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans originally proposed allowing anyone to keep five plants in their homes. Steans' final version allows only the 65,000 Illinois patients qualified for the medical-cannabis law to grow their own.

Those convicted in the past of possession of 30 grams or less could have their records expunged. Steans tightened provisions for clearing convictions of 30 to 500 grams which Republicans requested.

The Democratic-controlled House must approve the plan before Friday's scheduled adjournment . Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on legalizing recreational use.

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The bill is HB1438.

Online: https://bit.ly/2EKtzB0


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