State Watch

Illinois becomes 11th state to legalize marijuana

On New Year's Day, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize marijuana, prompting long lines to start forming at dispensaries before sunrise.

Dispensaries were allowed to begin selling cannabis at 6 a.m., but there was a delay in some sales due to a problem with the state database that will track all marijuana sales.

Illinois residents may possess up to 30 grams of the dried flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in edibles, while nonresidents may possess only half as much.

The first day of legal sales follows Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) granting more than 11,000 pardons to people convicted of low-level marijuana convictions.

"The war on cannabis has destroyed families. It has filled jails and prisons with nonviolent offenders. It has disproportionately affected black and brown communities," Pritzker said at a press conference Tuesday.

Forty-three marijuana stores in Illinois have received permission to sell recreational cannabis.

Buyers must be 21 years of age and show a valid state ID or driver's license.

Recreational cannabis is also fully legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

More than 30 states allow the sale of marijuana for medical use.

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