In June this year, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana since the U.S. began to liberalize the drug in 1996.
During the same panel discussion, lawmakers also passed a bill that will see the state undergo a wide-scale gambling expansion, and allegedly “transform Illinois into the gambling capital of the Midwest.”
The state is looking to welcome over 7,000 new slot machines, 5,000 sports betting kiosks, 16 casinos, 5 racinos, and will open up sports betting to mobile users in the next 2 years. Although officials are positive about the additional revenues both new legislations will bring, light has been shone on the fact that such significant changes will no doubt carry consequences.
“We know that people who suffer from mental health issues are inclined to have gambling issues as well, so one of the things we’re doing at DHS is, for the first time, a thorough study of gambling disorders across the state,” said secretary of the Department of Human Services, Grace B.
The state has agreed to allocate 20% of future tax funds for mental health services, and treatment for gambling addictions in case of any repercussions.
“Up until recently, we’ve put very little money behind gambling disorder services and we need to dramatically change that, but we want to do that with the right kind of data and research to back us up.”
As of Jan. 1, 2020, anyone over the age of 21 will be allowed to legally possess up to 30g of cannabis, and maximum of 500mg THC oil when the new laws come into effect.
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