Illinois becomes 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana

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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)

CHICAGO (AP) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation making Illinois the 11th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

The Democrat signed legislation Tuesday in Chicago allowing residents to purchase and possess up to 1 ounce (30 grams) of marijuana at a time. Non-residents could have up to 15 grams.

Illinois joins 10 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing recreational use. It’s been essentially illegal for the past 80 years and since 1970 has been federally banned as a narcotic.

But Pritzker made legalization a main tenet of his campaign for governor last fall.

Nearly two dozen states have pursued legalization in the past two years. Efforts in New York and New Jersey fizzled this spring. Pennsylvania officials proposed it but it never got off the ground.

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