Illinois activists want pot revenue for communities hit by drug crime

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FILE – This Sept. 11, 2018, file photo shows a marijuana plant in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, Calif. California legislators are considering a plan to encourage more banks to do business with its legal marijuana industry. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Activists rallied outside the Illinois Capitol to demand a revenue stream from marijuana sales to communities affected by violence spurred by illegal drug activity.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recreational cannabis legalization proposal allocates 25% of tax revenue generated by marijuana sales for community development. Pritzker rolled out the recreational cannabis proposal earlier this month.

A provision in the proposal is the expungement of some drug-related convictions, an element the bill’s sponsors said this week is likely to undergo changes.

Ciera Walker of Live Free Chicago on Thursday encouraged the crowd at the Capitol rally to keep the pressure on lawmakers as they continue to debate legislation.

Walker says the communities ravished by violence deserve 100% of that tax, “but we’re only asking for 25%.” She added she also wants the expungement of some drug convictions.

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