State lawmakers from the Chicago area are pushing for the state to consider legalizing marijuana. State Reps. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) and Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) want the General Assembly to form a task force to come up with legislation to allow marijuana to be sold for recreational use. Cassidy says that approach may work on lawmakers who have opposed marijuana legislation in the past.
“I’ve often said voters evolve more quickly than legislators do,” Cassidy said, “and we are in the middle of that evolution now, and I believe that this is a wonderful step towards getting the information that our colleagues will need to move us forward toward a more sane, more workable policy for our state.”
Unlike in Colorado and Washington—the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use—Illinois would not need a ballot measure to change the law.
The lawmakers admit that the effort could take years. The first step is for the Cook County Board of Commissioners to pass a resolution urging the state to form the task force.