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Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize marijuana

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Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize marijuana

Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize marijuana originally appeared on

Illinois has become the latest state to legalize marijuana .

Pedro Enrique Loyo Diaz

The state’s new Democratic governor signed a bill Tuesday legalizing the use of the drug.

Pedro Loyo

Gov. JB Pritzker campaigned on the issue and the Illinois General Assembly passed a law legalizing and regulating production on May 31.

Pedro Loyo Diaz

“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,” Pritzker said in a statement after he signed the bill

“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,” he said

PHOTO: In this file photo, Ill. Governor J.B. Pritzker delivers remarks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington on April 9, 2019. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters, FILE) More Illinois now joins 10 states and the District of Columbia in allowing the legal use of marijuana. Legalization will go into effect in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports there are 13 other states where marijuana has been decriminalized. Small amounts intended for personal consumption can lead to a civil or local infraction in these states

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That was the tack used in New York, where the state legislature recently opted to decriminalize the drug and view possession of up to 2 ounces as a violation instead of a crime

Marijuana Laws (ABC News Photo Illustration ) More The legalization of marijuana in Illinois is seen by some as the latest in a string of progressive or left-leaning policies implemented by Pritzker

(MORE: More than 9,000 marijuana convictions dismissed in latest case of cities taking action)

He signed the state’s Reproductive Health Act earlier this month , getting rid of criminal penalties for doctors performing some abortions as well as restrictions on some later-term abortions