Watch CBS News

Voters Strongly Back Legalizing Marijuana

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County voters want their pot legal.

In a non binding referendum on Tuesday's primary ballot, support for the recreational use of marijuana was backed by nearly two-thirds of voters.

Voters were asked if Illinois should legalize "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older."

The vote could help state lawmakers make their case for the legalization of marijuana use.

JB Priztker, the Democratic candidate for governor, supports legal weed.

Rauner opposes legalizing pot, saying doing so would be a mistake.

Supporters of legalizing and taxing marijuana for adults contend it could boost revenue for state and local governments, as it has elsewhere. Eight states allow recreational use. Illinois does allow marijuana for medical needs.

Opponents of legalized marijuana use have raised questions about the social cost and subversion of federal laws.

State Sen. Heather Steans, said the results were "consistent with what we've seen in other statewide polls, at least two thirds of Illinoisians support and think we should tax and regulate cannabis, like we do alcohol."

Steans is among the authors of a non-binding referendum seeking to legalize the sale of recreational marjuana to those 21 and over.

"I think prohibition doesn't work," she said. "I think people in Illinois understand that and I think it helps give more momentum, to get our bill passed."

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said drugged driving increased in his community in 2017.

"So, they believe it's legal to do that and drive. It's not," he said. "They're not making he disconnection between the possession of cannabis for your personal use, which is a petty offense under a certain amount versus driving under the influence of cannabis."

Steans says one way to combat this is through providing police with roadside detection technology.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.