A poll in November found that only 23% of Illinois residents support the legalization of recreational marijuana, while 69% support other options such as maintaining the current decriminalization law. Pollsters interviewed 625 registered voters in Illinois by telephone, making the margin of error plus or minus 4 percent.
We constantly hear that the majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana. What reports don’t always reveal is that results always depend on how the questions are asked. When voters know there’s the option of decriminalization, the polls are very different, as was the case in New York.
The Mason-Dixon Poll stated: “Now I want to ask a few questions more specific about marijuana policy in Illinois. Currently, possessing 10 grams of marijuana, enough for about 30 joints is not a crime in Illinois. Instead, it is a civil violation, like a traffic ticket. Many people call this policy ‘decriminalization.’ Medical marijuana use is also legal in Illinois. Knowing that personal possession is already decriminalized in Illinois, which one of the following marijuana policies do you prefer: (order rotated)
- Keep the current policy of decriminalization and medical marijuana
- Keep the current policy of decriminalization but repeal medical marijuana
- Change the current policy of decriminalization by legalizing commercial production, use and sale of marijuana for recreational use
- Make all marijuana illegal. “
In Illinois, by far the largest groups wants to keep the things the same, 47%. The voters identified as conservative, 31%, moderate, 38% and liberal, 29% and not sure, 2%. Almost half of these voters registered as Democrats, 46%, while 28% are registered as Republicans and 26% are Independents.
Cook County and the rest of Illinois
The state is divided into three regions: Cook County, Collar Counties and Downstate. In the collar counties and downstate, 22% and 23% would like all forms of marijuana illegal, while only 10% feel that way in Cook County. It is not surprising that 36% of the respondents in Cook County want marijuana legalized, still fewer than the 47% who want keep marijuana policy the same. The largest chunk of respondents to the poll live in Cook County, 39%, while 26% live in collar counties and 35% live downstate.
Cook County, Illinois, residents will be able to vote on an advisory referendum on March 20 on legalizing pot. Illinois residents outside of Cook County often feel pushed around by the state’s largest county, Cook County. All of Chicago and many suburbs lie in Cook County. At least two gubernatorial candidates in Illinois support the legalization of marijuana, as well as a candidate for Congress in the 5th Congressional District.
Voters to the advisory referendum need to look at the car crashes and the other social costs brought on by marijuana commercialization.
Medical Marijuana and Decriminalizing Marijuana have Made Illinois Less Safe
Contrary to a popular myth, people do not drive better when stoned. A new report blames marijuana legalization and smart phones for the rise in pedestrian deaths. The number of pedestrian deaths fell in states without legalization by 5% but rose 16% in states that have legalized. The pot lobby tells that “marijuana has never killed anyone.
A short investigation shows that many Illinois residents have been killed by stoned drivers over the past few years. Some of the incidents occurred before decriminalization. These include:
Carter Vo, 8 years on bike, May 21, 2012
Katelyn Jonak, 9, killed in Aurora, October, 2016
Alonzo De La Torre , 17 Jan, 28 ,2008
Stephanie Kostenko, 22 May 5, 2016
Alexis Danley, 27, and unborn baby, on June 29, 2017
David Lyerla, 31, July 25,2015
Javier Castrejon, 38, June 2017
Janice Wendling, 52 June 2016
William Molthop, 60
Phillip Rangel, 60
Vincent Neri, 62,
29 deaths…………….These lives mattered.
Mason-Dixon conducted the poll between November 1 and 4, 2017. SAM Action, a non-profit organization sponsoring Healthy and Productive Illinois, as well as Healthy and Productive Michigan.