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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021

* Some people predicted the fall of civilization. Didn’t happen. Time to cash in

Lincolnwood is rethinking its stance on weed.

The suburb of about 13,000 decided two years ago not to allow recreational marijuana sales. After seeing neighboring Chicago, Skokie and Evanston indulge and reap the tax benefits, Lincolnwood is revisiting the ban.

With the prospect of 119 new pot shops opening up in the city and suburbs after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs off on changes to the state’s marijuana law, Lincolnwood and other communities that rejected recreational weed sales are now more open to the idea. […]

Roselle and Glen Ellyn are reconsidering bans after voters backed the idea in referendums. Elmhurst is likely to revisit its prohibition. Lake County, which had a one-year moratorium on recreational weed, recently decided to allow sales, cultivation and manufacturing in unincorporated areas.

One forecast predicts sales will double this year to $1.4 billion.

* The Question: In your opinion, has legalization been a net positive or a net negative? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:45 am:

    Positive by a mile. More jobs and revenue, plus more people realizing the stigma was never based in reality.

    Hopefully that’s a step toward rethinking drug criminalization in general.

  2. - Gravy Bond - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    Net negative. The long term negative health impacts will be with us for decades.

  3. - Lake County Mom - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    Legal pot has been a boon to Illinois. Around 25% of taxes collected on pot are from out-of-staters. Courts not clogged with silly possession charges. People charged in the past now able to obtain jobs that they were once prohibited from thanks to records being wiped clean. The year and a half old law legalizing pot chipping away at systemic racism. And people who suffer from chronic pain now have a viable alternative to addictive drugs.

    I can’t think of any negative impact.

  4. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    All the billboards on I-294 between I-88 and O’Hare are now for weed shops instead of Brian Urlacher’s hair plugs. I’d call it a net positive based on that alone.

    I do have concerns about supply outstripping demand as these dispensaries keep popping up, as well as the potential political influence and/or monopolistic tendencies of the big players. For now, demand is rising, state tax revenues are rising, the demon weed isn’t sprouting a new crop of mass murderers like some authors claim it will, good for us.

  5. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    Positive. Beyond things recently mentioned, a great positive has been destroying the myth that marijuana users are Spicoli-like slackers.

  6. - Cluster - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    === All the billboards on I-294 between I-88 and O’Hare are now for weed shops instead of Brian Urlacher’s hair plugs. I’d call it a net positive based on that alone. ===

    Hilariously awesome comment.

  7. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    Net positive.

    Having the amount of THC on the label allows the user to determine how much they are getting, learn the effects associated with the dose, and make plans accordingly. (Frankly, I did not partake until it was legal for that reason.)

    Edibles helped me get through the stress of the pandemic and the 2020 election.

  8. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    ==I do have concerns about supply outstripping demand==

    Should bring the price down a bit.

  9. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    It’s been a positive. The only downside of this success is that we can’t blame the wacky weed for all the crazy antics going on in this country.

  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    net positive, by far.

    There are of course still pockets that will stick to their prohibition mindset as long as possible.

    If there is any negative at all, it would be that the areas which are sticking to prohibition are still able to reap the benefits from the areas which have progressed away from prohibition. County level taxes specifically can be distributed to areas which are still prohibiting sales - and that’s something I’d like to see addressed in the law at either the state or county level.

  11. - Edyrdologist - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    Net positive for all the reasons mentioned above so far. Only real negatives I can think of are that the equity licensing provisions have been a complete failure so far. Hopefully HB1443 addresses some of that. And the black market in the state is still larger than the legal one (see Tom Schuba’s story in the Sun-Times last week) since we have the highest weed prices in the nation which will also need to be addressed at some point.

  12. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    Agree with Excitable Boy: positive. Hopefully this experience makes people much more skeptical of the “sky is falling” narratives that law enforcement always trots out concerning criminal justice reform of any kind.

  13. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    Quite positive. Finally responsible adults can ditch the black market and buy something legally that’s less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. The black market is very deeply entrenched, but many prefer avoiding it. Many like weed because it’s not as strong as alcohol and other drugs.

    It’s a great message to kids as well, that marijuana can only be bought by adults. During prohibition all weed was bought and sold illegally. Where do the “weed destroys children’s brains” people think kids went for weed? They would rather that we keep the broken and dangerous prohibition system in place.

  14. - Dysfunction Junction - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    Luckily it hasn’t really affected me one way or another so I guess it’s net neutral. With one exception: I do quite often seem to get stuck driving behind a car with a driver who’s consuming behind the wheel. I hate the stench of skunk even worse than cigarettes, and it’s annoying knowing they’re flouting the law. But if it means my trailer plates are going back down from the extortionate $118, I’ll deal with it.

  15. - vole - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    Beats ledgeslatin’and constichuent serbuses.

  16. - vole - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    oops, wrong Mary.

  17. - stateworkerworkingfromhome - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    Net positive. People are going to consume it whether it’s sold in their town or not. Why not benefit from the sales tax revenue and purchase it in a safe and legal way?

  18. - Out of Illinois - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    Negative. Economic development in this state now consists of drug dealing and gambling. All they need to do is add prostitution and they might put the mob out of business.

  19. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:30 pm:


    One less thing law enforcement has to deal with.

    I don’t understand why communities like Lincolnwood, in a large metropolitan area, surrounded by other communities, did this. Do they think their residents won’t travel 5 miles to another community to buy grass? Do they think they’re maintaining civilization? Is it a principle thing?


  20. - Jockey - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    Unfortunately, I still think it’s still early in the process to determine net positives or negatives.

    I read this article yesterday about CA dispensaries and the bureaucracy obstructing its grow. I can see this happening in IL:

  21. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    The Tempurpedic store that had a car drive through the front window that is located next to the dispensary in Aurora might disagree, net positive.

    I do smell it more in general and seem to smell it from cars from time to time now, that gives me pause.

  22. - sulla - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 12:58 pm:

    Huge positive. We were lucky and got a first round adult-use dispensary and the only problem it has caused is arguing among members of the City Council on how to spend the tax money.

    A friend of mine ended up with one of the full-time jobs created at the dispensary and he’s now driving the first new car he’s ever bought.

  23. - Levois J - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    Another revenue stream is one thing, which I have no issue with and gov’t can legit regulate marihuana. However, what I can’t stand is that I go on CTA and people light up a blunt on the train. That I can live without, beyond that go ahead smoke at your favorite shop and pay the taxes with your purchase. ;)

  24. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:06 pm:

    Positive - But I think more still needs to be done to eliminate the black market. Drop prices, lower taxes whatever it takes.

    I’ll say more people than I would have thought never would have used pot are striking up conservations with me about gummies and brownies now. I am surprised at the amount of new customers.

  25. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    Definite net positive for all the obvious mentions.
    Also I agree with Out of Illinois that legalizing sex work would reduce crime and violence, and that we should do it.

  26. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    So cities rethinking the mounting tax benefits, 119 pot shop licenses coming up, police have other th9ngs to do. OK, when will backyard home grown be ignored or will that become viewed as tax evasion?

  27. - Eagle - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    == Negative. Economic development in this state now consists of drug dealing and gambling.==

    If Illinois was a country it would have the 22 highest gdp in the world. Illinois’ gdp is the fifth highest in the US. I think there might be a little more activity than drug dealing and gambling. Somebody has to produce and sell the Utz potato chips.

    ==All they need to do is add prostitution and they might put the mob out of business.==
    You talk like that’s a bad thing.

  28. - CubsFan16 - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:22 pm:

    Positive. People were smoking pot before it was legal. Now, it’s just more regulated and more economically beneficial to our state and communities instead of the black market.

  29. - Dysfunction Junction - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:29 pm:

    @Cool Papa Bell - Lower taxes? The tax revenues were the whole point of the exercise, and the only benefit the majority of us (yes, those of us who do not imbibe) ever received from the law change. Using the analogy of alcohol prohibition, when was the last time alcohol taxes were lowered? And when was the last time you saw someone walk past a liquor store to buy homemade hooch out of the back of a station wagon in order to save a buck?

  30. - Merica - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    Positive - there is no impact to life. illegal sales are down. unfair enforcement on minority communities are down.

    however, this was a massive opportunity that was missed. the money should have gone to pensions, not being thrown away as it is now.

  31. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    ==The tax revenues were the whole point of the exercise, and the only benefit the majority of us (yes, those of us who do not imbibe) ever received from the law change==

    You must have forgotten about all the money we are saving by not pointlessly cycling people through the criminal legal system and robbing them of their future earning power because of criminal convictions. You benefit from that too.

  32. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    Legalized prostitution would protect vulnerable people from unscrupulous johns. Also, tax revenue.

  33. - Glengarry - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    Net positive. Definitely lowered the stressors in my life.

  34. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    I forgot the question?

  35. - Billinois - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    ==Luckily it hasn’t really affected me one way or another so I guess it’s net neutral. With one exception: I do quite often seem to get stuck driving behind a car with a driver who’s consuming behind the wheel. I hate the stench of skunk even worse than cigarettes, and it’s annoying knowing they’re flouting the law. ==

    Not sure what impact legalization had on this considering that was illegal driving under the influence before legalization anyways, still the same offense.

  36. - stateworkerworkingfromhome - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    “Somebody has to produce and sell the Utz potato chips.”

    Tell you what, the Utz “Salt & Malt Vinegar” chips are DELICIOUS. Even before any green leafy substance is involved.

  37. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    “All they need to do is add prostitution and they might put the mob out of business.”

    tbh, this is a great idea that the legislature should seriously consider.

    – MrJM

  38. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    @DJ - Charles covered it for me. You and I also benefited when communities of color have one less reason to be hounded by police. We also benefit when an individual chooses a few gummies over oxy to treat pain and suffering.

    But the black market is still doing quite well so I’d still like to see the tax structure adjusted bring retail prices lower - and alcohol prohibition and growing and selling marijuana have nothing to do with each other.

  39. - The Real Captain - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 2:10 pm:

    How else do you make it through a pandemic?

  40. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    Huge positive, although I would like to see more equity in the business.
    I finally tried it this year. Didn’t like it. Tried it a second time just to be sure. Still didn’t like it.
    My experiences and the hefty taxes will likely stop me from using it again but as for others, please enjoy.
    @DJ the majority of adults have indeed used it

  41. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    ====I do have concerns about supply outstripping demand==

    Should bring the price down a bit.==

    And that really does need to happen. It’s great that it’s legal now and I think it’s a net positive, but the high prices are keeping the black market active. Once prices come down some it will be helpful to limiting the black market.

  42. - Techie - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    Definitely positive.

    Drug use is a personal choice as long as it isn’t directly harming others, so legalization is simply the ethically right thing to do.

    It’s also progress on the criminal justice front, wherein prohibition disproportionately affected minorities. The punishment for offenses were also incredibly cruel given the nature of the “offense.”

    It’s a great source of revenue for the state.

    The state’s medical program is very restrictive, so recreational legalization makes cannabis available for other medicinal uses which weren’t previously legal (mild pain, anxiety, help with sleep, help with nausea, lowering hypertension, etc).

    Any downsides which might exist are far outweighed by the benefits.

    That said, the equity issue has been a joke. If I understand correctly, there still is not a single pot shop or grow operation owned by a person of color. I don’t know what is in the law, but it should have made it far easier for minorities to get grants to open shops. Minorities have been economically hurt by criminalization, so it’s only fair to give some money back to those who want to get in the business but might lack capital to do so. Perhaps also some free or subsidized business classes.

    Another area which ought to change is the ability to grow at home. Why only medical patients? I believe that was done to appease the Illinois State Police…but I literally don’t understand the benefit to anyone other than the growing industry/shops which would lose a small percent of sales to homegrowers.

    The limit on possession also needs to go. There’s no limit to how many cigarettes or how much alcohol someone can own. Why should there be a limit on cannabis? It’s completely arbitrary.

  43. - Chicago Blue - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 2:43 pm:

    Very positive and I’ve never imbibed any cannabis product in my 38 years. I honestly forgot it was legal because I stayed home so much over the last year and only remembered when I saw the really nice new buildings the dispensaries were located in Southern IL when I went camping in Shawnee.

  44. - College grad - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    This was never going to be an issue we would be able to immediately discern the effects of. Or at least not the negative effects, the increased revenue is obvious from the get go. We won’t know the societal effects for a while.

  45. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    Net positive. I still prefer bourbon, but do like the options.

  46. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 3:18 pm:

    Too early to tell how consumption has changed. If a new policy caused an spike in tobacco or alcohol use, many would consider that a negative. Some would likewise consider it a negative if cannabis consumption significantly increased, as it has in Colorado.

  47. - Al - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    I would be in favor of raising the age for cannabis and liquor to 25. A lot of money being made in the too cozy for my comfort Cannabiz industry and I would be comfortable with a 70% retail sales tax. We used to tax income at 70% so that sounds fair.

  48. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 4:41 pm:

    == Not sure what impact legalization had on this considering that was illegal driving under the influence before legalization anyways, still the same offense. ==

    Would say I do seem to notice it more. It’s a concern, not a huge one, but a concern.

  49. - CEA - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 4:51 pm:

    Net positive, because arresting and prosecuting cannabis users was always a spectacular waste of public money. I didn’t use it when it was illegal and I don’t use it now, but I can make absolutely no coherent argument for why it should be any less legal than beverage alcohol or tobacco, neither of which is all that good for you either. Given the number of people I knew who used it when it was illegal (a lot) and the number of people I know who started using it because it became legal (none), I’m having trouble seeing it as a public health menace.

  50. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 5:16 pm:


    I think it will take time until we know if and how consumption has changed. Anecdotally I would say that I have observed more young professionals using it, but that they seem to use in a responsible manner. And few of them seem to smoke it. Edibles seem far more popular.

    Me I don’t intend to use. Craft and/or international beer is more my disposable income vice.

  51. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 5:30 pm:

    I could care less about legal pot but could you mandate smokeless weed.

  52. - Hmmmm - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 7:04 pm:

    @Al - Ok, boomer.

    @Blue Dog — weird, I’ve never seen you call for smokeless tobacco.

  53. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 7:21 pm:

    Net positive. Because the benefits are tangible and the consequences still seem rooted in opinion.

  54. - The Brisket was good - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 7:56 pm:

    Positive. I’ve got family and relatives who can now get relief for their pain without worries of the law or having a prescription. It’s made their lives easier without buying unknown products illegally on the street.

  55. - SSL - Tuesday, Jun 22, 21 @ 8:15 pm:

    Net positive. I haven’t been tempted enough to try it again after 40+ years since the last time, but you never know. Certainly successful from a revenue perspective.

  56. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jun 23, 21 @ 8:14 am:

    net positive. money for government. ease of use. not much in the way of traffic effects/accidents…people take it home and enjoy. new great architecture….shop right by Old Orchard shopping center really nice building, got a great review by the then Tribune architecture critic.

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