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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A former state senator who pushed to legalize marijuana in Illinois is leaving a top government post to lobby for an organization that was instrumental in cannabis legalization in the state.

Toi Hutchinson, who became senior adviser for cannabis control to Gov. JB Pritzker in late 2019, stepped down from that job last week to become president and 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 MPP while in the Senate to approve legislation that legalized the sale and possession of recreational cannabis for adults. The law took effect in 2020.

Pritzker said it is “an immense honor for Illinois to have our own Toi Hutchinson leading the charge on a national scale, shaping the fight for cannabis justice not just in our state but in all 50 states,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

“It’s long past time for a federal law to move away from arcane cannabis criminalization and imprisonment and toward a justice-based model,” Pritzker said.

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