Like many states, Illinois is in deep financial trouble. Looking at the latest audit, its black hole has deepened to US$9.6bn ($14bn) and, according to the state’s chief financial officer, the books are “abysmal”.

But there could be salvation at hand if it becomes the first state in the midwest to legalise and tax the recreational use of marijuana. Two Democrats in the state legislature have introduced a bill to change the law, arguing this could raise as much as US$700m a year, reported the Telegraph.

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