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Poll: 66 percent favor legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois

Most Illinoisans favor legalizing marijuana and taxing it like alcohol, a new poll finds.

The latest poll from the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale found 66 percent of voters approve of recreational cannabis legalization.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is banking on revenue from cannabis taxation and cultivation licensing in his fiscal year 2020 budget to the tune of $170 million.

Thirty-two percent of voters said thy opposed legalizing recreational cannabis.

“This may be one of those public policy shifts—like gay marriage—whose time comes fairly
quickly. Given the solid support it receives across almost all the groups we surveyed, its strong
advocacy from the Pritzker Administration, and aversion to higher taxes, the legislature may feel
emboldened to legalize and tax marijuana,” said Charlie Leonard, a co-director of the Simon

The proposal has majority support statewide, with 57 percent of people outside Chicagoland saying they support legalization. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents, and 49 percent of Republicans said they support legalization. Forty-eight percent of Republicans said they oppose.

The poll was conducted March 11-17 among 1,000 voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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