WI, IL supporters, opponents share their thoughts ahead of Illinois cannabis legalization

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WMTV) -- Just hours before recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois, Wisconsin residents on the state line are experiencing mixed opinions.

(Source: WMTV)

Some residents said they don't see legalization as a problem, while others said they're worried it'll lead to an increase in crime and impaired driving.

"It’ll be erratic driving, it'll lead to harder drugs, it'll lead to crime,” says Steven Hillison Sr., a Wisconsin resident.

Rockford resident Justin Sexton doesn’t have an issue with legalization.

"If you're using it in your own home, I don't see why it's a problem at all,” Sexton says. “If you're growing it for your own use, I don't see why it's a problem."

Purchasing marijuana legally

Wisconsin residents will be able to purchase legal marijuana from dispensaries in Illinois.

Customers must be 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license.

Wisconsin residents will be able to buy 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate and 250 milligrams of THC-infused products/edibles – half of what Illinois residents will be able to buy.

Dispensaries will be required to use readers to scan and verify customers’ driver’s licenses. However, Illinois law prohibits the information on the identification from being retained, used, shared or disclosed.

Enforcing the law

NBC15 spoke to City of Beloit Police Chief David Zibolski, who said legal marijuana has him worried. He's specifically concerned about a South Beloit dispensary just off of Interstate 90 that is still under construction.

“While I think they see it as their best financial opportunity, it's also the most dangerous public safety place for that to be,” Zibolski said.

While Wisconsin residents can legally purchase marijuana in Illinois, bringing it from Illinois to Wisconsin could result in two violations, police said. It is both a federal violation in crossing state lines, because the drug is federally illegal - and in Wisconsin it would be a state crime to possess it.