Cook County, Illinois voters approve recreational marijuana measure

Published: Mar. 21, 2018 at 6:43 AM CDT
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Voters in the county that includes Chicago – the second-most-populous county in the U.S. – have overwhelming approved the recreational use of marijuana in a nonbinding referendum.

Approximately 68 percent of Cook County voters on Tuesday approved when asked if Illinois should legalize "the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older."

Although the referendum is only advisory, the vote could help state lawmakers who support recreational marijuana to make their case in Springfield.

24/7 Wall St. in November 2017 published a report ranking Illinois as one of “the next 15 states to legalize marijuana,” reporting that “few states seem as poised to legalize recreational marijuana use as Illinois.”

24/7 Wall St. reports “marijuana sales could add to state coffers an estimated $566 million in excise tax revenue per year and as much as $133 million in sales tax revenue annually.”

In addition to the incentive of extra revenue, the report puts Illinois on its likely-to-legalize list because the state has decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and also legalized it for certain medicinal applications.

24/7 Wall St. reports that the annual adult usage of marijuana in Illinois is 12.3%.