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Tobacco-inform group lobbies against Illinois legalizing recreational marijuana

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois -- A group standing against legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois held a press conference explaining their side.

The organization, Smart Approach to Marijuana, was responding to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker's plan to legalize recreational marijuana, which would allow people 21 and older to purchase and use it.

President of Illinois NAACP shared her disapproval of the proposal, saying the plan was overlooking the people who might be affected by it.  She said people who smoke it could risk testing positive in drug tests, which could harm any financial aid or scholarships they're receiving.

"Plant the seed, say no to weed," she touted.

The bill also includes leeway for five cannabis plants per household.  State Representative Marty Moylan said this would be very difficult to enforce.

"Are we going to have pot police going around with their clicker going "one, two, three, four, five?" No, they're going to be growing it on their back porch, selling it on their front porch," he said.

Governor Pritzker said the proposal "starts righting some historic wrongs" against minority communities that have suffered from discriminatory drug policies and enforcement.  He also said Illinois' financial state could benefit from legal marijuana.

If it passes, Illinois would join 10 other states, including neighboring Michigan, in legalizing recreational marijuana. While the Illinois law would take effect Jan. 1, the first licenses for Illinois growers, processors and dispensaries wouldn't be issued until May and July 2020, the governor's office said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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