Equality Illinois supports SB 7, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act

May 22, 2019

For media assistance, please contact:
Myles Brady Davis, Communications Manager and Press Secretary
773-477-7173 (o); mylesbradydavis@eqil.org


Equality Illinois announces their support of SB 7, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act

A statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Illinoisans:

“Equality Illinois is proud to endorse SB 7, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act.  LGBTQ people use cannabis at more than double the rates of non-LGBTQ people according to data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by the US Department of Health & Human Services.  The criminalization of cannabis use therefore disproportionately harms the LGBTQ community.  By legalizing cannabis for recreational use by anyone over the age of 21, SB 7 has the potential to reduce the number of LGBTQ people caught up in Illinois’ criminal justice system.”

“We are strongly encouraged by the bill authors’ attempts to put racial and restorative justice at the heart of SB 7.  Communities of color, including LGBTQ communities of color, have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis criminalization.  A 2013 report issued by the ACLU highlighted that despite roughly equal rates of cannabis usage by white and African American communities in the United States, African Americans were nearly four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis position than white Americans.  The current bill places justice for communities of color at the center by seeking an equitable solution to the historic disproportionate impact of criminalization in communities of color by the War on Drugs.”

“We know SB 7 will continue to evolve as the bill authors and supporters seek to lay the foundation of a new legal industry that is good for all of Illinois’ working families.  We look forward to continuing to engage as the bill moves through the General Assembly.”

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