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Rauner talks about gaming and marijuana

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018

* More from Gov. Rauner’s Crain’s Chicago Business interview

There are two sources… of revenue that are not a direct tax hike: gaming and recreational marijuana. Okay, lets talk about those two.

Gaming is the more straightforward one. I don’t gamble. I don’t like gambling. I wish it didn’t exist. It does. It’s here. We got gaming. A lot of people like it. We’re losing massive amounts of Illinois revenue to Indiana and Wisconsin and other states. That’s a mistake. If a community wants to have more gaming I support it and we should give them local control. And generate some significant new revenue. And I am supportive of that. That’s that category.

Legalizing marijuana I realize it is very popular, especially for voters under 40. Here’s the issue: it’s a massive human experiment. It’s a massive human experiment. And it has major negative consequences. And I have done my homework. My team is doing their homework. I’ve talked to the governors of the states that have legalized it, in particular Governor Hickenlooper in Colorado. And the recommendations have come back “go slow, watch and learn from what we are experiencing because it ain’t all a pretty picture.” A lot of negative consequences. […]

DUIs, absenteeism, THC in middle school kids, lack of productivity, expanded black markets. And the tax revenue not being nearly as high as they thought from it. And costs to their society and their health care system higher than they thought. So on balance. Net, net, net, you know? Not so clear. And now Colorado is a massive exporter to the black market of illegal drugs to other states. It has ramifications. To rush headlong into it and say “hey, we want tax revenue so let’s just let the…” I think it’s a mistake. And I do not support it today.

“Weed is the more straightforward one. I don’t smoke weed. I don’t like weed. I wish it didn’t exist. It does. It’s here. We got weed. A lot of people like it. We’re losing massive amounts of Illinois revenue to other states. That’s a mistake. If a community wants to have more weed I support it and we should give them local control. And generate some significant new revenue. And I am supportive of that.”

There. Fixed it for ‘ya.

…Adding… For a good debunking of what Rauner said about Colorado, click here. I’ve posted it before, but a commenter mentioned it below.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Do you want to lose the votes of the millennial generation? Cause this is how you lose the votes of the millennial generation.


  2. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Why does he ignore the success of marijuana in Nevada? With GOP governor Brian Sandoval?


  3. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    God, he’s such a narc.


  4. - Juice - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    With the tax structure we currently have for casino gaming, if we were to allow every municipality have a casino that wants one to have one, the State would likely lose a ton of revenue.


  5. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    Isn’t that exactly, verbatim, what he has said about legalizing pot for 3 years now?


  6. - Techie - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    And of course he fails to mention all of the negatives of weed remaining illegal. You know, people paying fines or going to jail, students losing financial aid for weed convictions, workers unable to get jobs or losing their jobs for using it, the black market being much bigger than if it were legal, people unable to access it for less sever medical issues (sleep, appetite, hypertension, etc)…

    I could go on and on. Yes, we need to be smart and considerate in how it’s legalized, but any sane person should recognize it ought to be legalized. Massachusetts is doing a great job ensuring that those who were punished by prohibition, especially people of color, are given an opportunity to participate in the weed business once it’s legalized. Let’s follow their lead and legalize it in a rational, just, and humane way.


  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    Every one over 40 hates weed?

    Where was Rauner in the 60’s…70’s…goin’ for one hundred kegs or bust?


  8. - SSL - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    Too bad he doesn’t like gambling or weed, because he’s about to have a lot of free time to do both.


  9. - Can - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Gaming and marijuana are equally straightforward. There are 15 or more states that have expanded gaming at their racetracks, but not Illinois. Also, we just finished Week 3 of the NFL season. SCOTUS says we can have sports wagering. When will that be legal here? Seriously, why is everything so difficult here?


  10. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    = And I have done my homework. My team is doing their homework.=

    Apparently not.

    If all he and his team can find is negatives, they obviously only wanted to support a specific narrative.

    Funny how he couldn’t talk himself into the same circle as he did for gambling.

    Rich’s “fixed it for ya” is spot on.


  11. - njt16 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    “DUIs, absenteeism, underage use, lack of productivity, expanded narcotics use. And the tax revenue not being nearly as high as they thought from it. And costs to their society and their health care system higher than they thought. So on balance. Net, net, net, you know? Not so clear.”

    So alcohol should be illegal by this logic?


  12. - Mod Dem - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    So interesting that he is against marijuana because of the higher health care costs yet he vetoes Tobacco 21 which has clearly shown a significant higher cost of healthcare.


  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Show of hands class — who believes Rauner and BTIA(TM) have really “done their homework” on legalized weed?

    And if asked to produce it, which way do you think they’d bounce: A, the dog ate it, or B, I left it on the bus.


  14. - Anon62704 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    “It’s a massive human experiment.”

    Accurately describes the 40+ year “war on drugs”.

    … and the last 3.75 years of his administration.

    I’d like to see a change on both fronts.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    The last time Rauner did any homework, Rich found out the ROI was 1.4% or $500+ million for the “Turnaround Agenda”.

    So… I don’t see any homework helping.


  16. - njt16 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==Show of hands class — who believes Rauner and BTIA(TM) have really “done their homework” on legalized weed?==

    C, it went up in smoke.


  17. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    He spoke to Hickenlooper on election night after his conversation with Madigan and just before his call with Cullerton.


  18. - SinkingShip - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    ===- njt16 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:43 pm: So alcohol should be illegal by this logic?===

    Absolutely. It boggles my mind that viewpoints on marijuana are so predefined by “reefer madness” mentalities when we continue to tolerate and encourage a much more individually and socially destructive substance.


  19. - Bobby T - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    And nicotine and alcohol aren’t “massive human experiments” (whatever that means)?

    I suspect weed is safer than *both* nicotine and alcohol. That alone should make it a no-brainer.


  20. - Earnest - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    >I’ve talked to

    Even without “dozens of” or “hundreds of” behind it, you’ve lost all credibility on any sentence that begins with that phrase.


  21. - OneMan - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Going to be a bit of the contrarian here. Yes, I think it should be legal if you are over 21 with controls and yes there should be strong (stronger than there are for smokes and booze) penalties if you provide it to minors.

    But I read something recently that got me thinking a bit about an unintended consequence.

    A small manufacturer in Ohio talked about his challenges in finding workers who can pass a drug screen. Here is a story about the story I read.

    https://www.daytondailynews.com/business/local-employers-desperate-for-drug-free-workers-who-show-time/RTScXYCIoOiNELn0C5J3hN/

    But don’t drug screen then.

    I think that is easier said than done in Illinois. Imagine someone gets injured on the job and it turns out a co-worker who is using from time to time is the one that made the mistake. It seems that it wouldn’t be hard to convince a jury that it was the employer’s fault for drug testing employees. As part of this are we willing to offer legal protection to employers? I can see the ads now.
    Injured on the job due to a co-worker who uses legal weed, call XXX-XXXXX

    I also find it generically interesting there isn’t much talk about just decriminalizing it, but making sure the state gets it’s cut as well. How much of this is driven by we don’t have logical pot laws and how much is driven by Hey Revenue!


  22. - njt16 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    @SS & @BT, safer and cheaper. Rauner might state that MaryJane creates higher “costs to their society and their health care system” but let’s see that homework to cross reference with some CDC data:

    https://www.cdc.gov/features/costsofdrinking/index.html


  23. - Ali Nagib - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    @BobbyT: Multiple public opinions surveys have shown than when asked to rank the relative dangers of cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar, cannabis comes in fourth.

    “According to the results of the [NBC/WSJ] poll, 41 percent of poll respondents felt tobacco was the deadliest substance, 24 percent voted for alcohol and 21 percent regarded sugar as the most dangerous.”

    https://medium.com/budbo/marijuana-safer-than-sugar-americans-say-77d8075e8044


  24. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    The massive human experiment has been the criminalization of weed. It failed miserably, on so many levels.


  25. - paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    - SSL - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 2:40 pm:
    “Too bad he doesn’t like gambling or weed, because he’s about to have a lot of free time to do both.”

    This comment rules.


  26. - A Jack - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    On October 17, pot will be legal in Canada, much like alcohol was during prohibition. You can try stopping it at the border, but the feds couldn’t do it then and won’t be successful now.

    So there’s your choice, legalize and tax or leave it illegal, lose the revenue, and lose the ability to regulate.


  27. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    The one area where Rauner and I actually agree. That said, I fully support decriminalization and medical pot. And yea Rich, I know we’ll never agree on this.


  28. - Can - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    States that have expanded gaming at their tracks:
    Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

    He’s had 3.75 years to get this done. It’s not rocket science, it’s not groundbreaking. It is literally just following what these other states have already done, and have been doing for years.


  29. - TominChicago - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    Given the article below, do we really think that Rauner did his homework or even spoke to Hickenlooper regarding legal marijiana?

    http://www.rrstar.com/news/20180624/georgette-braun-rauner-overstates-colo-pot-trouble


  30. - The Real Captain - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    Word~ I am sure his team is doing their homework every night to forget about what is coming to them in November. That being said the law would need to change for “local control” of gaming. But by that logic couldn’t Winnebago county vote a local referendum to allow a casino in theory? Yeah that would clearly work well in this state.


  31. - frisbee - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===I realize it is very popular, especially for voters under 40===

    So he feels he doesn’t need the under 40 vote to get re-elected? At least he issued the mmj licenses and signed some good mj reform measures into law (decrim, hemp, adding PTSD, terminal illnesses and opioids to qualifying conditions). Folks i know feel that IL could have already legalized recreational cannabis if Quinn was still in office but he didn’t even issue the mmj licenses before leaving so i guess BVR has been a mixed bag for the legalizers.


  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    – We’re losing massive amounts of Illinois revenue to Indiana and Wisconsin and other states.–

    Maybe not. If you do your homework, you’ll see video gaming in Illinois has taken off like a rocket since 2012, with more than 6,300 establishments now operating more than 28,000 machines.

    State revenues from the video machines in gas stations and bars and such are creeping up to those from casinos.

    According to the Illinois Gaming Board in CY17, the state tax receipts from casinos were $393.4 million and from video games were $325.7 million. That totals $719.1 million.

    For FY18, the Indiana Gaming Commission reported wagering and admission revenues of $602.5.

    https://www.igb.illinois.gov/FilesAnnualReport/2017IGBAnnualReport.pdf

    https://www.in.gov/igc/files/FY2018-Annual.pdf


  33. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==it’s a massive human experiment. It’s a massive human experiment. And it has major negative consequences.==

    Like human beings using fire. Except marijuana use is more likely older.


  34. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    The Governor has his staff slow walking applications for Medical Marijuana. That means more days of pain for the applicants.

    Legalizing marijuana will have some harmful effects. Like alcohol,the costs in crime and violence of keeping it illegal are too high.

    My preference is for State run distribution centers. This provides tighter controls and eliminates advertisements to promote use.


  35. - Pundent - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rauner is opposed to weed full stop. If he was truly doing his “homework” as he says we would be moving towards a decision to either legalize or keep things as is. The problem is that he’s been raising these same issues with pot for 3.5 years now. How much “homework” does he have to do on this topic?


  36. - El Conquistador - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    Rich - excellent rewrite of Rauner’s oh so predictable dribble. The stodgy, outdated old and crusty GOP line once again. They’ll have to be bludgeoned with the coming midterms to only begin to realize the 1950’s aren’t coming back…

    Women and blacks can vote, bathrooms and lunch counters aren’t segregated any longer, Latinos know they have a voice, etc.

    They sewed the wind and will reap the whirlwind.


  37. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    You can’t regulate or tax weed and he knows it. With no banks involved you can’t track the money well enough to tax it. Maybe states that have functioning governments can pull it off. We can’t and the State knows it. No one will talk about and the media wont write about all the lawsuits filed over the pilot program.

    The IL Department of AG has violated its own rules, it knows it, the media knows it, but no one cares.

    They just buried it and the media are pro marijuana so no one will write about it.


  38. - A guy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    I’m not against moving slower on legalizing rec marijuana. I’m 100% for moving at warp speed on Med marijuana. I think there’s enough data in from other places to move forward with the Rec category. All of our “consumers” may have a legal supplier by the time we get around to it if we don’t move.

    I support legalization. It’s been an evolving issue for the past few years for me. Med Mar was always something I’ve supported. There are cautions that should be taken on the Recreational side, but there’s enough data out there now to start. Revenue is the third best reason for me.


  39. - Pundent - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    =DUIs, absenteeism, THC in middle school kids, lack of productivity, expanded black markets. And the tax revenue not being nearly as high as they thought from it. And costs to their society and their health care system higher than they thought.=

    And this is the tell that makes it clear that Rauner has no interest in legalization. He sees absolutely no benefits in legal pot. No economic benefits for growers and the jobs created, no tax benefits, no benefits in curtailing the illegal drug trade, no benefits in reducing the burden on the criminal justice system. Only the consequences of a “massive human experiment.” He shouldn’t pretend that he’s giving this any consideration because he’s clearly not.


  40. - A guy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    ==You can’t regulate or tax weed and he knows it. With no banks involved you can’t track the money well enough to tax it.==

    Sorry dude, it’s being over regulated and over taxed just fine where it’s legal.


  41. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    I wish he’d been this cautious about the massive human experiment that was his budget stalemate.


  42. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    The Patriot, I’ve noticed over the years that you have the inside dope on many things that “no one will talk about” and that the “media won’t write about.”

    You’re lucky to live in the Internet Age. You can always find somebody who gets you.


  43. - Stones - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    Living in FL I can tell you many, many senior citizens enjoy the benefits of legalized marijuana. No snark.


  44. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    This is not hard. Michigan will legalize cannabis in November. Illinois will in 2019 after Pritzker wins. Thankfully, soon it will not matter what Rauner thinks about cannabis legalization.


  45. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    68.39% of Cook County voters want cannabis legalization per the ballot question. Lots of citizens over 40 years old want this in our state.


  46. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    –The massive human experiment has been the criminalization of weed. It failed miserably, on so many levels.–

    Apparently, when doing his homework, Rauner never came across the phrase “the great social experiment,” as Prohibition was known before repeal of the Volstead Act.


  47. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    The great human experiment? Cannabis has been here for thousands of years, it did not just appear yesterday. People use it whether legal or illegal.


  48. - RoscoeRatMatt - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:10 pm:

    As a Millennial and occasional user, Rauner could change his mind on pot but mine wouldn’t change on him; he’s still a ruinous, unpalatable, and ineffective poll. What we have here is simply more prattle from Rauner’s political death rattle. I impatiently await the start of early voting…


  49. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    I’m sure the governor of Colorado doesn’t want Illinois — or any other state — to legalize in much the same way the governor of Indiana doesn’t want Illinois to put a casino along its border.

    And I’m sure if Rauner calls them they’d be happy to tell him not to do it.


  50. - sulla - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    The War on Drugs has been a colossal failure fiscally and morally and may be the single worst US policy decision of the past century.

    Bruce Rauner is all about perpetuating that failure in Illinois.

    Myself and a number of other “lean libertarian” voters are going to pull the handle for JB Pritzker this fall. Because even if JB’s nebulous tax plan ends up costing us a couple of thousand more per year, it will be worth it to see this one infuriating policy be overturned for good.


  51. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    Sulla - Well Said.


  52. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    Everyone single person I know who smokes pot now is over 60.


  53. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    =The War on Drugs has been a colossal failure fiscally and morally and may be the single worst US policy decision of the past century.=

    That statement is good enough to be repeated over and over.

    The medicinal properties of marijuana (THC) are significant and have been in use by different cultures for centuries.

    There is reason to be skeptical of recreational use if you are looking at alcohol in a similar way. Arguents can be made that it is less harmful than alcohol. Smoking cigarettes is more harmful than either and has none of the positive benefits whatsoever.

    Legalize marijuana and require licensure and inspection (paid for through fees) and tax marijuana at a reasonable rate. Create a state bank so that there is monetary security for the providers. This will go a long way to reducing the impact of illegal trade.


  54. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:54 pm:

    –Legalizing marijuana I realize it is very popular, especially for voters under 40. –

    What a bizarre thing for a grown man/governor to say, in 2018.

    For crying out loud, Big Jim was hanging on Willie’s bus back in the 80s.


  55. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:04 pm:

    Not my quote but a good one “the number one cause of marijuana related crime is the prohibition of marijuana”.


  56. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    I imagine the majority of BTIA homework these days involves resume prep and interview practice, at least for the smarter ones.


  57. - Pundent - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    =I’m not against moving slower on legalizing rec marijuana.=

    Moving slower? We’re not moving at all.

    I’m well north of the demographic that Rauner claims this idea is “very popular” with and I can see how ridiculous his views are.


  58. - Union Thug Gramma - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 12:23 am:

    Umm, voters under 40???? I’m 61, have many friends in my age group who believe the same. Legalize marijuana, regulate and tax…although, I’d prefer that we can grow our own.


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