Cannabis News Briefs: Marijuana Question Makes Illinois Ballot, Congressional Aide Convicted of Taking $5K

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Illinois Senate approves marijuana ballot question

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois voters would be able to say whether they support legalizing recreational marijuana under a proposal lawmakers have approved.

Senators voted 37-13 Thursday to put a non-binding question on the November ballot. Chicago Democratic Sen. Bill Cunningham is the sponsor. He says the referendum question will act as a statewide opinion poll.

The proposal now goes to the House for vote. To make it to the ballot, it needs Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature. The governor calls the effort misguided and legalization a mistake.

Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana last year. The Chicago Democrats previously said they do not expect the measure to be debated this session.

Former congressional aide convicted of taking pot shop bribe

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former California congressional aide has been convicted of taking a $5,000 bribe from an illegal marijuana shop he threatened to shut down.

City News Service says Michael Kimbrew was found guilty Thursday of attempted extortion and receiving a bribe.

He faces up to 18 years in prison when he’s sentenced June 4.

Prosecutors say Kimbrew solicited the bribe from a pot shop in Compton.

The indictment said Kimbrew claimed he was working with the FBI and could help the shop get permits to stay open if the owners paid him.

Prosecutors say he accepted the money from an FBI agent posing as a business partner.

Kimbrew worked at the time for Rep. Janice Hahn, a Los Angeles Democrat. Hahn is now a Los Angeles County supervisor.

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