CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — People gathered for a town hall focused on legalization and how it would work in this community.
Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) hosted the event as a way to explain the proposals and answer people’s questions.
A man in the audience said family on the west coast have told him the detrimental impacts of recreational marijuana outweigh the beneficial ones.
Marijuana experts, public health, lawmakers and law enforcement all weighed including State’s Attorney Julia Reitz.
“In my office the possession and delivery the prosecution of cannabis is simply not a major issue. We don’t have that many cases. We’re more focused when it comes to cocaine and heroin,” states Reitz.
Rietz is also concerned with how recreational pot would impact young people and road safety.
State lawmakers said marijuana tax revenue would have to be set aside for education similar to tobacco and alcohol.
Some of those in the crowd were surprised by comments from the diverse group of panelists.
“I wasn’t sure whether to expect and see lots of people trying to profit off of it things like that you know It was cool to see the group of people were thinking with social justice mindsets,” says Elliot Schultz.
Although, others in the audience weren’t fully satisified with what they heard Rep. Ammons says many people want the law passed.
Part of that is because of the money it would bring to the state as well as the benefits to the communties hit hard by the drug war.
“Any revenue that we can generate to offset the costs of our pensions and offset the cost of education, all of those things are critical and this is just one revenue source. It’s not the only revenue source and it certainly won’t fix every ale that we have in the state of Illinois when it comes to budget and revenue but it certainly a step in the right direction to doing that,” says Rep. Ammons.