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How Illinois became the only State to legalize weed sales without a referendum

Illinois lawmakers, solving issues that tripped up lawmakers in other states, have made recreational marijuana legal, becoming the first state where the state legislature made cannabis sales legal without a vote from the people.

Illinois is the 11th state to legalize marijuana and the second midwestern state to do so, following legalization approved by Michigan voters in 2018. Illinois lawmakers got it done by addressing many of the issues, including minority representation in the marijuana industry, that had derailed similar legislative action in New Jersey and New York.

Joining the legal states.

Illinois joins 10 other states, and the District of Columbia, in making recreational marijuana legal. The rost of states where recreational cannabis is now legal (and the year voters approved legal sales) are:

Colorado (2012)
Washington (2012)
Alaska (2014)
Oregon (2014)
District of Columbia (2014)
Nevada (2016)
California (2016)
Massachusetts (2016)
Maine (2016)
Vermont (2018)
Michigan (2018)

In all the other states, except Vermont, voters approved marijuana legalization, starting with 2012 referendums in…

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