SARAH ZIMMERMAN, Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democratic candidates for governor say it’s time for the state to legalize recreational marijuana, while Republican candidates oppose the idea.
Nine states and Washington, D.C, have already legalized recreational marijuana. Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor say it’s time the state follow suit, arguing the move would bring in needed revenue and would be a major step toward criminal justice reform.
The candidates in the March 20 primary are Sen. Daniel Biss, businessman Chris Kennedy, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, educator Bob Daiber, activist Tio Hardiman and physician Robert Marshall.
On the other side, the two GOP primary candidates have opposed legalization and raised questions on the future of Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program, which is set to expire in 2020.
Gov. Bruce Rauner implemented the pilot program in 2015, but he has recently fought in court attempts to expand the list of qualifying conditions. He is against legalization for recreational purposes.
His primary competitor, Rep. Jeanne Ives, has consistently railed against any type of legalization.
Here’s a look at where the candidates stand:
While all Democratic candidates favor legalizing recreational marijuana, there are some debates about how the process should take place.
The perceived front runners — Pritzker, Biss and Kennedy — all favor legalization, arguing it would bring more tax revenue