Illinois lawmakers push to legalize marijuana

CHICAGO (WLS) -- April 20th, also known as 4-20, is a holiday for cannabis lovers.

This year's celebration comes as Governor Pritzker and other Illinois democrats are pushing to fully legalize marijuana in the state.

"What I knew was she wasn't a criminal she was a good mother," said

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx as she reflected on her mother's marijuana usage at the Chicago Cannabis Health and Wellness Fair.

RELATED: Andersonville hosts 4/20 Waldo Forever Fest

"Largely to deal with the issues that she was dealing with in her life around mental health," Foxx added.

Foxx said her office has moved away from prosecuting most possession cases and said she hopes to also begin expunging minor marijuana convictions.

"We have to right the wrongs of the past. We cannot prepare ourselves for a future of legalization and know there are large segments of our community that will be left behind because of the way we have shifted our priorities," Foxx said.

As of now, marijuana can only be used legally in Illinois for medical reasons.

For the second year, the Waldos Forever Fest returned to Chicago's North Side, educating people about this growing industry on the popular marijuana holiday.

"We are trying to show folks that there is a brighter way of living," said Maria Johnson, the Director of National Sales at Verano Holdings.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued more than 18,000 new medical cannabis identification cards in the 2018, which is up 14,000 for the year before.

"There are so many people who know people whose lives have been positively impacted by cannabis," Dispensary 33 owner Zachary Zises said.

"I have anxiety so the relief I get from being a medical marijuana patient is the best," said Tiffany Woodman.

Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana and more states could soon follow, including Illinois as it's being debated in Springfield.
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