The Chicago, Illinois city skyline photographed from distance.

Michael Curi

According to a Southern Illinois University Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll, a full two-thirds – 66 percent – of Illinois voters support “the legalization of recreational marijuana if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol” with 32 percent opposed.

Forty-six percent of respondents strongly favored the reforms while 20 percent were in favor; compared to 24 percent who were strongly opposed and 8 percent who were opposed. Just 3 percent were unsure.

Chicago – which could see its own adult-use ballot question in November – and the collar counties favored legalization 66 percent to 31 percent; and downstate voters 58 percent to 40 percent. Democrats supported the reforms 78 percent to 28 percent and independents 62 percent to 36 percent. Republicans were split with 49 percent both in support and opposed.

At least one Congressional candidate could use this poll to his advantage. Former Federal Bureau of Investigation officer and current human rights professor at Roosevelt University, Benjamin Thomas Wolf, is vying for incumbent Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley’s seat and calling himself the “Cannabis Candidate.” His platform includes the legalization of cannabis and hemp throughout the U.S. and pardoning those jailed for cannabis-related offenses. He advocates for using revenues derived from cannabis sales for public education and drug rehabilitation.

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