A new legislative proposal would tax medical marijuana in order to pay for heroin treatment programs across Illinois, according to state Rep. Dennis Reboletti.
“We need to stem the tide of the heroin epidemic today,” the Elmhurst Republican said.
The weed tax is part of a legislative package Reboletti is proposing in Springfield which is promoting awareness on the increase in heroin overdoses in DuPage county, which hit a record number of 46 this past year.
“Right now we are in ground-zero of heroin overdoses,” state Rep. Jim Durkin said.
Reboletti said he hates unpaid mandates in a press conference Thursday, and said if he is going to propose this heroin awareness program, he has to propose a way to pay for it.
Under his legislative package, the programs would be paid for with a seven percent tax on medical marijuana purchased in the state.
The money would go towards programs to educate and rehabilitate Illinois residents affected by the drug, as well as incarcerate gang leaders who sell heroin.
Medical marijuana was legalized in Illinois last summer, but has yet to be distributed in the state.
The Daily Herald has more.