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Pot more popular than Moylan in Moylan’s district

Friday, Mar 29, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s Chicago Business posted my column early, so we get to talk about it on Friday instead of our usual Monday. It’s about legalizing cannabis and historical polling by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University which showed a marked switch in public opinion since its spring of 2017 poll, when support jumped from 45 percent to 66 percent, where it has stayed ever since. There’s also this aspect…

* Here you go

Despite this, a majority of Illinois House members have sponsored a resolution asking that the General Assembly slow down the legalization process.

We don’t have poll numbers for all these legislators’ districts, but we do have results from a March 2018 nonbinding referendum when 63 percent of Chicago and suburban Cook County voters said they favored legalizing cannabis.

I asked my pal Scott Kennedy at Illinois Election Data to crunch the numbers for a few districts represented by “go slow” legislators, and he graciously agreed.

The chief sponsor of that resolution is Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat. The referendum passed with 62 percent in Moylan’s district. In fact, about a thousand more people voted “yes” than voted for Moylan, who ran unopposed.

About 63 percent voted to legalize cannabis in the 38th House District, which is represented by freshman Rep. Debbie Meyers-Martin, an Olympia Fields Democrat. Meyers-Martin is a co-sponsor of Moylan’s resolution. (Six of her district’s 112 precincts are in Will County, so the Cook County referendum wasn’t held in her entire district.)

And almost 63 percent voted for the referendum in Rep. Bob Rita’s district. Rita, D-Blue Island, is a “go slow” co-sponsor, but he’s also a key legislator involved with expanding legalized gambling, which is somewhat ironic.

A deliberative legislative process is fine by me. But cannabis legalization needs to get done this year, and when the time comes to vote, these legislators and others should listen to the vast majority of their constituents and legalize it already.

Click here to read the rest before commenting, please.


  1. - qualified somone nobody sent - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    What’d I say. LOL! Marty’s favorite album must be Jethro Tull’s “Living in the past”! LOL! Really though, dude it’s the 21st century.

  2. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:41 am:

    Yep, pretty much. Appreciate the Little Feat reference, too.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:45 am:

    The gay marriage analogy is spot on. Whether it’s that or weed, it’s clear that a solid majority of people don’t feel the need to be buttinskies up in others business all the time.

  4. - Smitty Irving - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    Hate to be cynical, but think Moylan is trying to be the Lou Lang of recreational pot. /s

  5. - Techie - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Seriously, Moylan, stop trying to impede legalization. Yes, we need to be careful and deliberate in how we make it legal - we need to take public safety, retroactive justice, justice and fairness in providing licenses, etc into account. But we don’t need to go artificially slow to take those things into account.

    The longer we wait to legalize it, the more people are harmed by its continued illegality.

  6. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    The GA should petition the Federal Government to treat recreational drugs the same way it does alcohol. State by state options with the Feds helping to stop importation of prohibited substances. That is better than the current situation where state legal activity is still Illegal under federal law.

    Still, go ahead and legalize it. The feds are choosing not to prosecute. Imperfectly legal is better than the violent black market we have today.

  7. - El Conquistador - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    This is emblematic of the ILGOP. Out. Of. Touch.

  8. - Rabid - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Dehumanizing a segment of society, when you should be working on repatriation into society

  9. - The Captain - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    Nobody wants a rush job, but stalling would be just as unpopular. Be adults and make progress, keep moving forward.

  10. - XonXoff - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    – these legislators and others should listen to the vast majority of their constituents  –

    Agreed. And when they disregard polling and voting, they need to hear from constituents directly. If they are working to fix this, they deserve a supportive note, too, IMHO.

  11. - Suburbs - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    I hope the H Dem Caucus figures this out before this becomes a primary issue for someone and/or more conflict among Members in the same Caucus. Let’s all work together!

  12. - Marty Meh-lan - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    I supported Marty in 2018 because that Marilyn chick Rauner put up against him was just awful. I think our district has one of the cultivation centers in Elk Grove Village, which means he is literally coming out against more jobs in the district. But I am hoping someone challenges him in the 2020 primary.

    Also, his online poll is just filled with junk science and he should be ashamed (poll in question:

  13. - Truthteller - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    I bet marijuana is more popular than the state rep in every district

  14. - A guy - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    Just proves no one needs this more than Marty. Someone give him a gummy bear.

  15. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    The great thing now is that this issue is in the forefront. The voters strongly support marijuana legalization. Let those who oppose legalization face the voters.

  16. - Marty Meh-lan - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Also, his legalization town hall was a joke. Seriously what Democrat invites the Illinois Family institute to tape your town hall on legalization ( It was filled with a panel who claimed the sky would fall and would refuse to even address all the harm prohibition has brought on people and communities of color.

    Thankfully Sen. Murphy has brought a sane approach to this subject. In contrast her town hall on the subject with Sen. Steans and Rep. Cassidy last fall was extremely informative. Glad she is keeping an open mind and taking the pulse of her district; she seems to want to represent our interests.

  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    ===This is emblematic of the ILGOP===

    Literally every legislator named in that column is a Democrat.

  18. - NomChompsky - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    The 2018 primary also had a 17% turnout in the 55th, and democrats turned out over republicans almost 2 to 1. I’m not saying pot isn’t popular, but those numbers might not hold up in a referendum done during a general.

  19. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    ==This is emblematic of the ILGOP. Out. Of. Touch.==

    What Rich said. Moylan’s a dem in a dem district, and a whole bunch of the cosponsors are dems. This probably has more to do with Moylan being approximately 138 years old

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    ===but those numbers might not hold up in a referendum done during a general===

    They’d be higher. Moylan got 55 percent in the 18 general. Pot has support from both sides of the aisle. Marty doesn’t. /s

  21. - Yep - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    “.,people have evolved quickly..” Yep there in lies the problem.

  22. - LetsLegalizeIt - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    I’m glad to see that this is being publicized. I was afraid for a little bit there that Moylan’s actions would cast a pall over legalization, but it looks like his little tantrum is having the reverse effect and it’s bringing out more positive attention.

    According to industry insiders, legalization is proceeding at a good pace and Pritzker is already involved. The interview I’m referring to is linked below.

  23. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    –”.,people have evolved quickly..” Yep there in lies the problem.–

    Literally, a Neanderthal point of view.

  24. - Rabid - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    What are the benefits of prohibition ? And who’s benefiting ? Going from the cartels to big marijanna

  25. - NotMe - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    Thanks Wordslinger, you beat me to it…

  26. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    People evolved because reality set in. Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. For decades, people’s kids have been buying pot from the black market. For decades, people have been driving stoned. For decades, marijuana has been rampant. For decades, minority communities have been disproportionately harmed. For decades, we’ve been wasting money and resources fighting this lost battle.

  27. - Been There - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    ===Rep. Bob Rita’s district. Rita, D-Blue Island, is a “go slow” co-sponsor, but he’s also a key legislator involved with expanding legalized gambling, which is somewhat ironic.====
    Some would make the argument that Rita has been a go slow legislator on gaming also.

  28. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    well, I would not conflate issues, Kelly. stick to one topic. it makes lobbying easier. and on this topic Marty Moylan is ridiculous. the state is behind in so many ways and this one is not only just fine for partaking, but for taking in money for the state. get real, dude.

  29. - vole - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    Moylan’s poll: “This questionnaire is meant to determine the level of support for” … keeping the criminal cartels’ hegemony on the marijuana market in Illinois. And for keeping their lucrative proceeds from benefiting the people of Illinois.

  30. - anon2 - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    Lots of Republicans are co-sponsoring Moylan’s resolution. Durkin is a hyphenated co-sponsor. Among the other co-sponsors are Dan Brady, McSweeeney, Summer, Morrison, and Batinik.

    When legalization does come up for a vote, most of the Democrats will be a yes, despite their preference for delay. By contrast, most of the Republicans will be a no, just as they are for every other social reform, e.g medical marijuana, civil unions, marriage equality, death penalty abolition, etc.

  31. - Blue Dogs are Blind, Deaf, and Dumb - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    Go slow because our neighboring states need more time to catch up with Illinois. That way when we do finally legalize it, we won’t make near the amount of tax revenue that we would if we moved forward this year.

  32. - anon2 - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    I agree with one part of Moylan’s resolution, namely that public health and safety, not revenue, should be the top priority. That doesn’t mean it should not be legalized, but it should be regulated to discourage some of the harm the resolution lists.

  33. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    Hey, I am proud of my Neanderthal heritage. Hybrid vigor is a plus.

  34. - Anon - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    Good night sweet Prince. This is the music of Moylan losing his job…

  35. - Nameless - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    Please keep up with the delay. I’m rolling in the $$.

  36. - NomChompsky - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    *I agree with one part of Moylan’s resolution, namely that public health and safety, not revenue, should be the top priority. That doesn’t mean it should not be legalized, but it should be regulated to discourage some of the harm the resolution lists.*

    This. It also has to be a sure thing that Illinois can avoid having to rely on black market supplies to meet demand like a lot of other states have had to fall back on. I am fairly sure this is why Marty has been able to get majority signatures. People want it legalized, but they want it done right.

  37. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    Maybe Moylan is following the footsteps of John Boehner, oppose cannabis until you leave public office then join a cannabis company to profit off the legal sales.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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