Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Illinois lawmakers ponder proposal to legalize marijuana

Illinois lawmakers ponder proposal to legalize marijuana

That enthusiasm crosses all ages, genders and political demographics, according to a poll of 1,011 adults who were asked 'Should marijuana use be legal?'

While Connecticut does not appear to be moving forward with legal marijuana, other New England states are, including MA, where voters last year approved a ballot question legalizing the drug, with retail sales beginning next year. This sentiment has increased each year we've measured it since 2013, with the turning point to majority support coming in 2014.

Brohl spoke Wednesday to a panel of IL lawmakers considering a proposal to make marijuana use legal in the state.

Exit question via lefty Paul Waldman: If Sessions does order a crackdown in states where marijuana is legal, will that trigger a backlash that pushes support for legalization even higher?

"They want to put a pot registry in but they are not telling us about how much it is going to cost", said Conservative health critic Colin Carrie.

The White House has given mixed signals about whether it intends to crack down on marijuana use in states where it's legal. Federal restrictions on marijuana are opposed by Republicans (63 percent), Democrats (76 percent), and Independents (72 percent); a 71 percent average.

Legalisation also appears to be an economic hit.

Before the bill was tabled, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police urged the Liberal government to exclude personal cultivation from its plans to legalize marijuana, saying it's impossible to ensure such marijuana isn't being cultivated for the black market. Experts predict the market could hit $21bn in sales by 2020 - bringing in millions in taxes for state governments, too. Only 33 percent believe that it should still be kept illegal, which is a 3 percent drop from past year.

Among those who think marijuana should be illegal, only half think the federal government should be involved with the states.

From a quick overview, this bill takes a very similar approach that I used with my wine bill that removes federal barriers, but still allows provinces to enact and adopt their own rules and regulations with respect to marijuana legislation.

Support for legalization has risen among all age groups - particularly those under 55.

Peter Bensinger, a former administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, cited federal statistics showing marijuana use among teenagers initially increased 20 percent in the first two years after legalization in Colorado, compared with the two years prior.

IL lawmakers are learning more about what it takes to legalize marijuana for recreational use from the state that pioneered it - Colorado. Even most Americans who oppose legalizing marijuana think so. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request.

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