The Illinois legislature on Friday moved to legalize recreational marijuana in a 66-47 vote in the State House. The bill now goes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has made legal pot a key component of his proposed budget.
“Today’s outcome is disappointing, as it is a win for wealthy marijuana investors and a loss for Illinois citizens and communities,” said Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national group working to oppose legalization efforts in individual states.
Prior to Friday’s vote, among those who expressed their opposition to legal pot were law enforcement groups, religious leaders, the Illinois president of the NAACP, and a group of state representatives who signed onto a resolution asking fellow lawmakers to slow down on the push to legalize the drug.
If Pritzker signs the bill, Illinois would become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, NBC Chicago reported, and only the second to do so without direct referendum approval from voters.