marijuana

Jennifer Brdlik

Democratic State Representative Kelly Cassidy and Senator Heather Steans are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana.

Their measures would allow people 21 and older to possess up to 28 grams. It would also let facilities sell pot products.

Illinois currently allows medicinal uses of the drug for certain approved conditions.

Representative Cassidy says the state could rake in as much as $700 million a year from the sale of recreational marijuana; she says it’s critical to help chip away at Illinois’ massive budget deficit.

WNIJ

A Lake County man pled guilty in federal court in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana.

35-year-old Justin Paglusch of Ingleside was charged with intent to manufacture and distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants between Nov. 2014 and Jan. 2015 at the Asher Tool warehouse in Rockford.

Six other people were also charged for the crime.

The warehouse was destroyed by a fire in 2015.

Paglusch faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

Sentencing is set for June 23.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs wants the Trump administration to help protect the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Federal law currently forbids banks from processing money used for cannabis transactions.  This makes it difficult for these businesses to get loans and pushes customers to pay only with cash. 

The Obama administration said prosecuting banks for these violations wasn't a priority, and Frerichs wants the same assurances from Trump.  

Communities in Illinois are adopting their own penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana now that state law has eliminated the possibility of jail time.

The Tribune-Star reports that the law passed last year provides that people caught with 10 grams or less of the drug be issued citations carrying a fine of $100 to $200. Possession of such an amount was previously a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,500.

The new legislation allows local governments to set their own standards concerning the amount of marijuana and fines.

flickr/dankdepot

U.S. women are increasingly using pot during pregnancy, sometimes for morning sickness. That's according to an analysis of annual U.S. government drug surveys.

Though the actual numbers are small, researchers and others say the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems.

In 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they'd recently used marijuana. That's up from 2.4 percent in 2002.  

The study was published online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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