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Is Illinois Poised to Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

illinois marijuana legalization

In 2015, Illinois joined 28 other states that offer access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. Recently, advocates and some politicians have begun steering the legalization conversation toward expanding access to marijuana in this state for recreational use.

New Tactics in the War on Drugs

Although the federal government still considers cultivation, possession, distribution, and use of marijuana a crime, several states across the country have begun enacting laws decriminalizing marijuana. In addition to the variety of medicinal qualities researchers have identified, some lawmakers consider the legal sale of marijuana an emerging and untapped source of revenue. Here are some of the events that have helped shift the conversation about marijuana legalization:

• In addition to the 29 states that offer access to medical marijuana, eight states have legalized its sale for recreational use.
• Last year, Illinois passed laws to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.
• In 2018, five more states will take steps toward full legalization.
• In debt-ridden Cook County , one elected official is touting legalization as a means of easing the tax burden on residents while generating millions of dollars in sales tax revenue.
• In a 2016 Gallup poll , 60 percent of Americans reported favoring marijuana legalization.
• Democratic candidates in the 2018 Illinois Governor’s election have made statements indicating endorsement of full legalization .

In addition to accessing a new source of tax revenue, legalization advocates believe that complete decriminalization would lower expenses related to the arrest, court appearance, and incarceration of marijuana offenders.

The Case for Full Legalization Grows

While the United States is currently in the throes of what is described as an epidemic of addiction and death related to prescription pain relievers, many treatment professionals consider marijuana a weapon in the country’s growing opioid problem. Other statistics from states with legalized marijuana laws support the case:

• Colorado has reported no increase in juvenile use of marijuana or traffic accidents since enacting laws permitting recreational marijuana use.
• Washington has reported falling crime rates since legalizing marijuana in 2012.
• California has indicated that crime increases in areas where marijuana dispensaries close.

Work With an Experienced Illinois Criminal Drug Defense Attorney

Although laws pertaining to the possession of marijuana have changed over the years, it remains critical to retain a knowledgeable defense attorney when facing drug charges. Seek the counsel of a knowledgeable Will County drug crime defense attorney who will review your case and build a solid and aggressive defense on your behalf. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. examines the details of every case with meticulous care to ensure nothing is overlooked. Contact our offices today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free initial consultation.

What You Should Look for in a Residential Real Estate Contract

real estate contract attorney

Found your dream home? Before making an offer, think about what you want out of the home and the final sale of purchase. Once your offer is accepted, it becomes a legally binding contract. Any solid real estate contract should include conditions and terms that work well for you as the home buyer, including:

1. Cover the basics. Ensure that the offer includes the deposit amount, the price of purchase, the street address of the home or property you are purchasing, etc.

2. Make sure there is a home inspection contingency in the contract. If an inspection shows that the home is in poor condition or that you will need to make any costly repairs, an inspection contingency will permit you to terminate the agreement between you and the seller. If you would like to have a termite inspection and chemical tests be conducted, ensure that such stipulations are included in the offer.

3. Check to see who will pay for the closing costs. Whether the buyer or the seller pays for fees such as title search and notary fees depends on where you live and the agreement between you and the seller.

4. There should be a specification on whether the buyer or the seller will take the appliances in the home. Whether you wish for items like the refrigerator or the washing machine to be included in the purchase of the house, make sure it is stated as such in the home offer.

5. In your offer, financing options should be in your favor. If you are purchasing the home by taking out a mortgage, the contract should specify that your offer is dependent upon having financing at a specific interest rate.

6. Every offer should state the date of settlement and the possession of the home. Settlement usually takes about 45-60 days, and possession of the home typically takes place promptly after settlement.

7. Most contracts include whether the title company or a lawyer will conduct settlement services.

Contact a Will County Real Estate Attorney

A real estate attorney can significantly aid you during the home purchasing process. Whether you are purchasing your first home or a large property, an experienced real estate lawyer can ensure that your interests and goals regarding the purchase of the real estate are reflected in all offers and contracts. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, Attorney Ann Zaremba is dedicated to helping individuals and families purchase and sell all types of property. Her strong background in residential and commercial real estate law is instrumental in many successful property sales and purchases. Contact a Joliet real estate lawyer today.

Chicago Releases Gun Trace Report

chicago guns

The city of Chicago has been making headlines across the country due to recent spikes in violent crime. Gun violence remains a major problem throughout the region and law enforcement officials continue to look for ways to combat the issue. As part of that effort, city officials recently conducted extensive research regarding thousands of firearms used in the commission of crimes and recovered by the Chicago Police Department. The findings were released early this week as part of the city’s second “Gun Trace Report.”

Four Years of Recovered Guns

This year’s Gun Trace Report looked at guns seized by the CPD between 2013 and 2016 and compiled as much information about the weapons as officials could find. The data included the types of guns, where they were purchased, who originally purchased them, any subsequent legal purchases, and more. The report also offered suggestions on how to reduce gun violence in the Chicago area.

Approximately 27,500 guns were recovered by police during the four years covered by the report, and more than half of them were purchased legally—at least initially. According to the city’s findings , about 15,000 weapons were traced to more than 5,000 federally licensed firearms dealers in Illinois and a number of other states.

Out of State Acquisitions

While two specific gun dealers in Illinois —including one in Riverdale and one in Lyons—were the original source of nearly 11 percent of the guns studies, about 60 percent were initially purchased out of state, with 21 percent coming from Indiana. Officials have indicated that the relatively lax gun laws in Indiana make it fairly easy for a Chicago resident to drive across the border and obtain a firearm. The process in Illinois, by comparison, is among the toughest in the nation.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has gone on the record in support of federal laws that make it impossible for “gang member and criminals” to obtain assault weapons and other dangerous firearms. The report expressed similar sentiments, pointing out that the city faces the “challenge to address legal guns with a loosely-regulated national gun market.”

Secondary Markets

As one might expect, the report found that original purchaser of a gun is not always the same person who uses it to commit a crime. In fact, the person who was found in possession of a gun used in a crime was not the original buyer in 95 percent of Chicago PD cases. Officials say that there are several factors that contribute to this high number, including undocumented secondary market sales and straw purchases.

A straw purchase is one where a person who can legally buy a gun does so on behalf of another who cannot buy one or who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction. The buyer will often claim that the gun has been lost or stolen if it turns up later. The Gun Trace Report recommended the passage of new legislation to help reduce straw purchases and gun theft.

Call Us for Help

If you are the subject of an investigation related to illegal firearms or a gun used in the commission of a crime, you need legal guidance. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to get the help you need. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

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