A lot of discussions have occurred lately regarding Illinois’ chances of legalizing marijuana. Considering how hard it was to get medical marijuana passed in Illinois, and direct opposition from Illinois’ current Governor, I am not too hopeful that Illinois will legalize in the near future. But, I would LOVE to be wrong about that. Below is a message I received out of Illinois today, where activists are working extremely hard to get Illinois on the right side of history:
The movement to tax and regulate cannabis in Illinois got a huge boost on Tuesday when Sen. Jason Barickman became the first Republican legislator in the state to announce his support for regulating and taxing marijuana access. He also expressed interest in working with the current sponsors of a regulatory approach to cannabis for adults.
Assistant Republican Leader Jason Barickman (Bloomington) told reporters that legalization is part of his fiscally conservative philosophy. “I come at this as a fiscal conservative who recognizes we need to broaden our tax base,” he said. “This is an opportunity to broaden our tax base and hold, if not reduce, the individual income tax rates that today we’re struggling with.”
The announcement contrasts with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s disappointing stance on the issue. Last week, Rauner declared his opposition to legalization, despite an October Gallup Poll showing a majority of Republican voters in the U.S. now support regulation. “Rather than flippantly dismissing this idea, the Governor ought to study it further, hear from Republicans around the state, and others, and re-evaluate the position that he has taken on this issue,” Barickman said.
Thank you, Sen. Barickman, for taking this courageous stance! If you are on Facebook, consider sending a quick “thank you” to the senator here. And, please help spread the good news to your contacts in Illinois!
Illinois Political Director
Marijuana Policy Project