One pro-pot advocate says Illinois politicians will warm up to the idea of legalized recreational marijuana, even with a new governor coming into office. Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has said he would’ve vetoed the medical marijuana legislation passed in 2013, but Dan Linn, the executive director of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, predicts Rauner will not only come around on medical cannabis, but also on legalizing it for recreational use. Once he’s on board, Linn says others will fall behind him.
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“I think that comes down to the political grandstanding that we’re familiar with here,” Linn said. “By having a Republican governor in office, if the governor wants to see Republicans vote for legalization of cannabis, and he’s going to plan on signing it, he’ll make sure there are Republican votes on these bills.”
What will change his mind, according to Linn, is the potential revenue the state could collect from regulating and taxing marijuana.
For that to happen, state politicians would have to get the behind the idea faster than they did for medical cannabis. Illinois was the 20th state to pass medical marijuana legislation.
At the moment, four states have legalized marijuana to recreational use: Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska. All four states did so through ballot initiatives.