Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



It's high time to legalize marijuana

Friday, November 10, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business
by Editorial Board

It's high time to legalize marijuanaCommentsEmailPrint

It's the best idea to come out of the Cook County Board since killing the pop tax. We're talking about County Commissioner John Fritchey's crusade to legalize recreational use of marijuana within Cook County limits. Fritchey's been beating this particular drum for months, but he picked up the tempo Nov. 7 when he announced he had enough support from board colleagues to get the idea on the ballot in the March 20 primary election. The concept deserves a vote—and Cook County residents should support it.

As Crain's political columnist Greg Hinz notes, the costs of our present pot policy are real: Taxpayers spend a small fortune to prosecute low-level marijuana possession charges, while those arrested end up with an ill-deserved record that hurts their ability to work and live their lives. In fact, of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests nationwide between 2001 and 2010, 88 percent were for simply having marijuana, and enforcing the laws currently on the books costs taxpayers about $3.6 billion a year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Sign up for the free Today's Crain's newsletter

A better idea: Cut the cost of arresting, processing and trying people for possession, and tax them instead. That's what Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Washington, D.C., are doing. In fact, roughly 1 in 5 Americans now live in places where it's legal to smoke pot without a doctor's consent and, by one estimate, the legalized marijuana industry is on track to post $20.2 billion in sales by 2021.

States that have legalized marijuana are expected to generate about $655 million in state taxes on retail sales in 2017. And here's a scenario that may be almost unimaginable in a county that just recently broke out in a near-civil war over a penny-an-ounce pop tax: Marijuana tax revenue has actually exceeded expectations to such a degree that some states, seeking to strike the right balance and suppress the black market, have actually tapped the brakes and lowered the tax rate on weed.

Those who worry about harmful effects on public health, safety and crime should be encouraged by the data coming out of the early-adopter states—particularly Colorado and Washington. Legalization has not led to more dangerous road conditions, as traffic fatality rates have remained stable in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon. And statewide surveys of young people in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon found that there were no significant increases in youth marijuana use post-legalization. Meanwhile, marijuana arrests have plummeted.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who no doubt is still smarting from her soda-tax smackdown, argues that Cook County is in dire need of new revenue. And while we're still skeptical her administration has wrung every bit of fat out of its budget, we acknowledge how much better shape the county is in now than it was when she took office, and the services county government provides are indeed crucial, from health care delivery to the courts and jails. But if the county still has a budget hole to fill in the wake of the pop-tax debacle, the answer is—or could be—blowin' in the wind.



Recent Headlines

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP