Illinois official who pushed to legalize pot leaves

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Former state senator who pushed to legalize marijuana in Illinois leaves senior government post to lobby for an organization that was instrumental in legalizing cannabis in the state.

Toi Hutchinson, who became Senior Cannabis Control Advisor to Governor JB Pritzker in late 2019, resigned from that post last week to become CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project. The group, known as MPP, is working to legalize cannabis in other states and at the federal level.

Hutchinson, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Olympia Fields, served in the State Senate from 2009 to 2019. She worked with the MPP while in the Senate to approve legislation legalizing the sale and the possession of recreational cannabis for adults. The law entered into force in 2020.

Pritzker said it was “a tremendous honor for Illinois to have our own Toi Hutchinson leading the charge nationally, shaping the fight for cannabis-related justice not only in our state but in all 50 states, ”the Chicago Tribune reported.

“It is high time that a federal law moved away from the obscure criminalization and imprisonment of cannabis and turned to a model based on justice,” said Pritzker.

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