His name is Kevin Sabet, not Samet.
Illinois's Democratic governor and state lawmakers unveiled legislation over the weekend to legalize recreational marijuana for residents aged 21 and older, expunge roughly 800,000 drug convictions, and establish a $20 million low-interest loan program to help "social equity applicants" enter the licensed cannabis industry.
According to the Associated Press, Pritzker joined fellow Democrats Saturday to announce the legislation.
"We are taking a major step forward to legalize adult use cannabis and to celebrate the fact that IL is going to have the most equity-centric law in the nation", Pritzker said during a press conference Saturday at the Black United Fund's office in Chicago.
The legislation would also create a new grant called Restoring Our Communities, which would receive 25 percent of revenue that comes from the sale of cannabis and be distributed to communities across IL "that have suffered the most from discriminatory drug policies".
Lawmakers plan to introduce the measure Monday, kicking off debate at the Legislature.
Should the bill pass, IL would become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
The legislation would also establish the Restoring Our Communities (ROC) program "to invest in communities that have suffered the most because of discriminatory drug policies". The measure would take effect on January 1, 2020, but the state would not begin licensing retailers until that spring.
"This bill advances equity by providing resources and second chances to people and communities that have been harmed by policies such as the failed 'war on drugs, '" said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.
The proposal includes a $20 million low-interest loan program to defray the cost of starting a licensed cannabis business for "social equity applicants", including those who have lived in a "disproportionately impacted area" or have been arrested or convicted of expungement-eligible offenses. Under the proposed legislation, state residents could possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, up to five grams of cannabis concentrates and a maximum of 500 milligrams of THC (cannabis' intoxicating compound) in edibles. While the social justice aspects are "laudable", says Dan Linn, state executive director of Illinois NORML, the fact that the bill offers priority to current medical licensees makes some worry that they could have an unfair advantage. "Illinois lawmakers must take a smart, commonsense approach, and not welcome in another addiction-for-profit industry into the state". He's said future revenue from legal marijuana will help IL address some of its deep financial problems.
IL would use 10% of revenue to pay a backlog of unpaid bills. Another 35 percent would go to a general state revenue fund and 20 percent would go to a fund designated to support local mental health and substance abuse services.
This story has corrected the last name of the President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.