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Illinois is likely to become the 11th U.S. state to allow small amounts of marijuana for recreational use after the Democratic-controlled House on Friday sent a legalization plan to Democratic Governor. J.B. Pritzker, who campaigned on the issue.

Those 21 and older would be able to buy marijuana at licensed dispensaries beginning next year under the legislation approved on a vote of 66-47. Residents could possess up to 1 ounce (30 grams) and non-residents could have 15 grams.

Illinois would become the second state to endorse the idea through its legislature, following Vermont last year. Ten states and the District of Columbia have dropped pot prohibitions, mostly through ballot initiatives.

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But the Illinois plan also became a social justice initiative as black lawmakers and activists stepped in to see that legalization reversed decades of inordinate treatment of minorities in narcotics crackdowns. The legislation provides for scrubbing of past low-level criminal convictions and boosts minority involvement in a nascent industry.

“It is time to hit the ‘reset’ button on the War on Drugs,” the proposal’s sponsor, Chicago Democratic representative Kelly Cassidy, said. “We have an opportunity today to set the gold standard for a regulated market that centres on equity and repair.”

Pritzker called for legalization in his campaign for governor, arguing for its tax-revenue potential and for freeing police to enforce more serious crimes. He claimed there would be $170-million in licensing fees in the first year and a fully established industry could produce up to $1-billion annually in state tax revenue. But Cassidy said Friday the first year’s take would be $58-million and the state could expect $500 million in five years.

The vote came on the last day of the General Assembly's spring session, which got extended in part because of the 3 ½-hour marijuana debate. House leaders, noting the "volume of workload," announced that session would continue at least through Sunday. The Senate had not announced schedule changes.

Legislation after May 31 requires three-fifths majority approval. But Democrats hold supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, allowing Pritzker to take office in January with an expansive agenda following four years of stalemate between legislative leaders and Pritzker's vanquished predecessor, Republican Bruce Rauner.

The marijuana measure allows the governor to pardon anyone with records of convictions for possession of 30 grams or less. It eases record-clearing for possession up to one pound (500 grams) and some intent-to-deliver convictions. Minority-owned businesses would be given advantages in bidding for lucrative state licenses and offered low-interest loans to compete.

"The state of Illinois just made history, legalizing adult-use cannabis with the most equity-centric approach in the nation," Pritzker said in a statement. "This will have a transformational impact on our state, creating opportunity in the communities that need it most and giving so many a second chance."

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Originally intending to let anyone grow five marijuana plants at home for personal consumption, law enforcement opposition prompted legislators to restrict the five-plant home-grow limit only to qualified medical-marijuana patients.

Private property owners could restrict use. Landlords could ban marijuana on their property. And employers would still be allowed to maintain "zero tolerance" policies toward marijuana use and the workplace.

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