Cannabis legalized in Illinois, yields $11 million in first week of sales

Juve Angulo, Graphics Editor

On Jan. 14, 2019, J.B Pritzker was elected governor of Illinois. Five months later, Pritzker signed the Illinois cannabis regulation and tax act into law, effectively legalizing the possession of recreational marijuana. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the new law made Illinois $3.2 million in recreational marijuana sales and sold $11 million in the first week.
Detective James Sinnott said the recent legalization has regulations in place, and for good reason.
“Generally I am for the legalization as long as there is proper laws and regulations put in place that they see fit,” Sinnott said. He agrees with the legalization as long as the people who are purchasing it are held to the standard regulations, so the substance doesn’t affect the youth.
Marijuana is known to have multiple effects on the brain. Some positive effects include euphoria, relaxation, enhanced sensory experiences, and talkativeness, and it is also known to reduce the effects of certain cancers and chronic pains. Negative effects include cognitive impairment, tooth discoloration, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations. Using the substance while driving can impair judgement, motor coordination, and reaction time.
Sinnott remains optimistic students will observe the law.
“I don’t think it will affect the students that have a great disposition, and the students here that are reasonable and responsible enough,” Sinott said.
The new law allows residents age 21 and over to purchase one ounce of flower, and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate. Residents are only allowed to consume the substance at home or at certain approved establishments. Also, pre-legalization convictions for marijuana-related offenses (under 30 grams) are eligible for pardons as long as no violent crimes were committed.
“I have heard from a couple of different sources about the I.D scanning and how the vendors control the fact that you can not touch the product itself until you are done purchasing it,” Sinnott said. “From what I’ve heard, it’s a responsible way to keep control of the situation.”