As the legislative session draws to an end in Illinois, an opinion poll conducted shows that the majority of Illinoisans (60 percent) want recreational marijuana to be treated just like alcohol. This poll comes barely two weeks after another poll, sponsored by those opposed to cannabis legalization, showed that support for recreational marijuana legalization was waning.
This latest poll was sponsored by Gov. J. B. Pritzker and it was conducted by the Global Strategy Group. The pollsters asked 802 registered voters in the state whether they were in support of, or opposed to legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in the same way as alcohol. The poll started on April 29 and ended on May 1.
In general, 60 percent of the respondents expressed their support for legalizing, taxing and regulating recreational cannabis like alcohol while 35 percent opposed it.
When the findings were broken down by location, the Chicago area showed the greatest support when compared to downstate areas.
Two weeks earlier, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy had been commissioned by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (an organization opposed to cannabis legalization) to conduct a poll on the views of Illinoisans towards recreational cannabis legalization.
That poll found that only 41 percent of the people in Illinois supported legalization. The poll was conducted on May 7 and 8. However, this poll came under intense criticism because of some of the questions it posed.
For example, the pollsters asked voters whether all forms of cannabis use should be made illegal. This question was criticized because medical marijuana has been legal in the state and there is no plan to alter its status in Illinois.
However, the poll conducted by the Global Strategy Group had the twist of not just asking voters about cannabis legalization but also asking them to compare recreational marijuana regulation to alcohol.
Alcohol is widely available and no limits are imposed on how much alcohol adults can buy or consume. The poll therefore wanted to find out whether recreational cannabis should also have minimal restrictions.
A lot of resources have been injected into the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana by its supporters. Opponents have also gone all out to thwart the attempts to legalize recreational cannabis.
The sponsors of the legalization bill told a senate committee that the industry is likely to bring in sales of about $500 million when the industry matures in five to six years. The bill also provides for the automatic expungement of marijuana convictions (without subjecting the affected people to a lengthy application process).
ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) and Chemistree Technology Inc. (CSE: CHM) (OTCQB: CHMJF) hope that Gov. Pritzker’s intention to see recreational marijuana legalized by the end of this legislative session sees the light of day.
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