CHICAGO — On the heels of Missouri voters approving a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana, newly-elected Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says legalizing recreational marijuana in his state is something he wants to, "work on nearly right away."
Pritzker defeated Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in Tuesday's election. Rauner has served one rough term, battling Democrats in the state legislature over taxes and spending. Illinois has been in a budget stalemate through his administration.
With the state facing budget and looming public pension shortfalls in the billions of dollars, Pritzker is likely looking at Colorado's success in the tax revenue it has generated since legalizing retail marijuana four years ago. Colorado is on pace to generate about a quarter of a billion dollars in tax money from marijuana sales for the second year in a row.
Pritzker told WFLD-TV Chicago (FOX) that he will also look into vacating arrest records and prison sentences for anyone convicted of marijuana-related crimes.
Governor-elect Pritzker would only have to sign a law passed by the Illinois legislature to legalize recreational marijuana instead of waiting for voters to approve a measure.
Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana sales on Tuesday, making it the 10th state and the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for over the counter sale.