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Illinois Lawmaker: Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana Inevitable Here

Lawmaker: Legalization Of Recreational Pot Inevitable In Illinois

(CBS) – A state lawmaker predicts the legalization of recreational marijuana is inevitable and says the longer the delay, the more tax revenue cash-strapped Illinois will lose.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, posted on her Facebook page the statement: "While Illinois if figuring out where to put dispensaries, Colorado is raking in 184 million dollars." That's a reference to tax revenues expected in Colorado where recreational marijuana has been legalized.

Feigenholtz tells WBBM Newsradio she's more concerned about raising marijuana sales taxes than she is in legalizing marijuana.

She says she'd only support marijuana legalization if it came with drug abuse treatment funding as well as safeguards so that youths are discouraged from consuming pot.

At the same times, Feigenholtz says she "laments" all the tax revenue being lost while Illinois is facing unpleasant choices between cutting human needs program or further upping state taxes.

She says she's not ready to introduce the legislation herself this year but could support such a measure.

Steve Brown, press secretary for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, notes Feigenholtz is a member of the leadership and would get serious consideration if she introduced a marijuana-legalization bill.

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