Legalizing marijuana is a victory for freedom in Illinois

As Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, the direction of history is unmistakable. Cannabis is well on its way to becoming a part of the landscape of normal life across vast expanses of America. At this point, it’s not easy to decide which is more significant: that public policy has come to this, or that it took so long.

Medical marijuana has been allowed here and in most states for years. Illinois decriminalized possession of small amounts in 2016, as more than 20 other states have done. Familiarity with permissive laws has not bred contempt; instead, it’s dispelled fear by proving how dangerous they aren’t.

The drug war was once a popular crusade. But when more than half of adults have tried pot, it no longer has much scare value. Today, the most recent Gallup survey found, 2 out of 3 Americans favor full legalization — including most Republicans.

This is a huge change. But policies haven’t quite caught up with public sentiment. In 2016, some 576,000 people were arrested for simple possession of weed — more than were arrested for all violent crimes.

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Columns,Feeds,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago,Opinion

via Opinion – Chicago Tribune

May 31, 2019 at 05:21PM

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