Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law new legislation Tuesday that will legalize the possession and consumption of recreational marijuana on January 1st, 2020.
“Supporters say it will be a game-changer for revenue in the state, while opponents say it makes the state more dangerous,” reports ABC Chicago. “Tuesday morning, the governor put pen to paper here in the Austin neighborhood, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and it’s commercial sale in the state.”
NEW: Illinois has become the latest state to legalize marijuana. The bill, signed by Gov. JB Pritzker, will also "clear the cannabis-related records of nonviolent offenders." https://t.co/bwIk70AVqF
— ABC News (@ABC) June 25, 2019
“As the first state in the nation to fully legalize adult-use cannabis through the legislative process, Illinois exemplifies the best of democracy: a bipartisan and deep commitment to better the lives of all of our people,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “Legalizing adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do. This legislation will clear the cannabis-related records of nonviolent offenders through an efficient combination of automatic expungement, gubernatorial pardon and individual court action. I’m so proud that our state is leading with equity and justice in its approach to cannabis legalization and its regulatory framework. Because of the work of the people here today and so many more all across our state, Illinois is moving forward with empathy and hope.”
“My office is proud to have helped develop this historic legislation, which will provide conviction relief to hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents in the most extensive and equitable way possible,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “The time for justice is now, especially for communities of color who have long been disproportionately impacted by low-level cannabis convictions and the failed war on drugs. We look forward to continuing our efforts to ensure the broadest relief possible under this revolutionary law.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
BREAKING NOW: Illinois Judge ‘UNSEALS’ All Court Docs in Jussie Smollett Criminal Case
A judge in Cook County, Illinois ordered “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s criminal files be unsealed; clearing the path towards the release of all materials related to the case before charges were abruptly dropped months ago.
“Cook County judge Steven G. Watkins’ decision came months after a dizzying set of events: First, Smollett alleged he’d been the victim of a hate crime; after an extensive investigation, Chicago cops arrested Smollett and accused him of faking the supposed attack; and then, Cook County prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges against Smollett and his case was sealed,” reports Fox News.
“In January, Smollett made national headlines when he filed a police report alleging two masked men attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him as he was walking home from a fast food eatery. Smollett, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made racist and homophobic comments and yelled, ‘This is MAGA country’ — a reference to President Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan — before fleeing the scene,” adds the article.
Chicago officials and the city’s Police Department fumed after a lone prosecutor decided to drop the case.
The City of Chicago officially filed a lawsuit against ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett weeks ago; seeking to recoup the costs associated with his alleged hate crime hoax that occupied more than 24 police officers over a two-week period.
“The 12-page civil lawsuit , filed in Cook County court, is the latest volley in a legal battle that shows no signs of abating since Smollett reported that masked men beat him up on Jan. 29 in Chicago, shouting slurs and wrapping a rope around his neck,” reports the Associated Press.
“The lawsuit doesn’t specify an amount of money the city is seeking but does indicate it wants over $390,000 plus ‘further relief as this Court deems just and equitable.’ It also asks that Smollett be ordered to foot any legal bills Chicago incurs in suing him,” adds the author.
Read the full report at Fox News.
DEVELOPING: Governor of Illinois Declares ‘Abortion’ a ‘Fundamental Right,’ Removes Most Restrictions
The Governor of Illinois officially designated abortion a “fundamental right” throughout his state Wednesday; removing nearly all restrictions on the practice after several conservative states passed so-called ‘Heartbeat’ legislation.
“The governor of the US state of Illinois on Wednesday enacted a law establishing a ‘fundamental right’ to abortion and removing old laws that criminalized the procedure,” reports France24. “The Illinois law was passed in response to a wave of bans and restrictions approved in other states, and Governor JB Pritzker hailed it as ‘a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation.’”
“Those opposed to women’s reproductive rights are emboldened,” the governor said, “And their hopeful eyes are on the highest court in the land.”
“We are building a firewall around Illinois to protect reproductive access for everyone,” said one state representative.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards -the Deep South’s only Democratic Governor- defied his party last Friday and signed his state’s newest ‘Heartbeat’ law; becoming the latest state to limit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
“The signature puts Edwards further out of step with the Democratic Party, whose platform is to allow the government to pay for abortions. Lawmakers in blue states also are pushing for looser restrictions on abortion and to codify abortion rights,” reports the Washington Examiner.
“I know there are many who feel just as strongly as I do on abortion and disagree with me — and I respect their opinions,” Edwards said Wednesday. “As I prepare to sign this bill, I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted on it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana.”