Recently, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation, which would make Illinois the 9th state in the country to end marijuana prohibition and to establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use. Due to the effects of marijuana prohibition on African Americans and the dire budget situation in the state of Illinois, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) believes we should gather information in order to ensure that the communities most devastated by prohibition policies are not left out of the economic and policy changes at the forefront.
States who have legalized the sale of marijuana benefit substantially in terms of jobs and tax revenue but no affirmative steps are being taken to compensate for the harm done to Black Americans before these changes were made. At this rare and decisive moment in American history the ILBCF is exploring ways to ensure that Black voices aren't left out of the negotiation and implementation process in Illinois. To this end, we are conducting a poll to obtain information about how those who have a vested interest in the Black community feel about legalizing recreational marijuana.