This is Why Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Illinois is Not Happening

Some Politicians Do Not Want to Commit to a Stance on Cannabis

The marijuana legalization movement has been hitting a chord with politicians around the country lately. President Trump vowed to Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado that he would prevent Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department from interfering with state legal cannabis, John Boehner joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, Chuck Schumer introduced a new bill to deschedule marijuana and Mitch McConnell is pushing for hemp to become a major agricultural crop here in the United States. But, recreational marijuana legalization in Illinois seems as far away as it has ever been even though the topic is being brought up in the legislature regularly.

Chicago is about as political of a town as there is in the United States. Governor Bruce Rauner is as opposed to marijuana legalization as Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruitt. But despite that, if the House Speaker, Democrat Michael Madigan, was on board, legalization could actually happen. He does not provide much of a reason to be against it though.

“I haven’t come to a final decision,” he said Monday.

Madigan was asked about the topic shortly after he was elected to a record sixth term as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Madigan spoke about how the party must be “inclusive” to win elections.

“The issues change from time to time,” he said. “But for American political parties, they have to be aware of what the people want. When American political parties are not aware of that, they usually dissolve.”

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is opposed to recreational legalization, comparing efforts in other states to a “massive human experiment.”

Other democrats like Rep. Joe Kennedy III out of Massachusetts do not provide a clear understanding of why they are not supporting the legalization movement. If they think marijuana is a gateway drug or is highly addictive, that would be one thing, but they do not say those sorts of things. Why do you think they are so passive about marijuana legalization?


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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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