By unanimous vote, the Cook County, Illinois, Board of Commissioners approved placing a question about legalizing marijuana on the county’s March 20, 2018 ballot. Voters who live in the county will see the following question on their primary ballot:
“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?
Like voters across the state, Cook County voters appear to strongly support this sensible change. A March poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University found that 66% of voters in Illinois support a regulatory approach to cannabis control.
Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey put forth the measure, noting the obvious revenue boost cannabis taxation would bring to the county. But he said his real intent in supporting legalization is to end the disproportionate effect prohibition has had on communities of color.