The ballot question is to gage public interest toward reforming the current cannabis legislation, according to Illinois Senator Bill Cunningham (D), who sponsored the referendum.
“The debate over marijuana legalization is continuing to lead many states to consider various ideas and changes to current laws,” Sen. Cunningham said via press release. “Asking the people of Illinois how they feel about the subject can help determine which path we take as legislators.”
If voters respond positively to the idea, it may prompt a proper legalization bill in 2019.
While the Illinois Senate has voted for the question to appear on the November ballot, it still needs to be approved by the State House of Representatives before voters get a chance to weigh in on legalizing weed.
In the meantime, the state's largest county—Cook County—will have the question put to them much sooner on the March 20 primary election ballot.
So the Illinois ballot question isn't exactly a game-changer for the legalization movement, but it is a big sign of progress in the Midwest, where no states currently allow recreational marijuana.
h/t Marijuana Moment