Illinois Voters Approve Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure
Illinois had an exciting primary on Tuesday for a variety of reasons. Chicago-style machine politics did not disappoint.
With issues galore and results streaming in, we do know one thing: in Cook County, the state’s largest, voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot calling for the legalization of marijuana.
While the measure is not binding, its passage “sends a strong message to state lawmakers that ending cannabis prohibition is an issue that voters want the legislature to address” per Forbes.
A little geography: Cook County is home to 5.3 million people, making it the second most populous after Los Angeles county.
With nearly all precincts reporting, the question of legalizing recreational cannabis was ahead by greater than a two-to-one margin. Results were similar in suburban Cook County precincts as well.
The question on ballots was:
“Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”
And the answer was yes!
Current Governor Bruce Rauner, who is no fan of legal pot, squeaked past a conservative contender to win the Republican nomination. Rauner will now face off against Democratic candidate JB Pritzker for governor this coming November.
Throughout his campaign, Pritzker has been a vocal proponent of legalizing recreational weed.
"We can begin by immediately removing one area of racial injustice in our criminal justice system," said Pritzker during his victory speech Tuesday night. "Let's legalize, tax and regulate marijuana."
A billionaire businessman, Pritzker has decisive support throughout the state.
“As governor, I will modernize drug laws and move Illinois towards a criminal justice system that gives all Illinoisans a chance to reach their full potential."
Now, Illinoisans, make sure you get out and vote in November!