Many politicians are embracing the issue of marijuana as a way to attract voters. But one Illinois gubernatorial candidate gave a great and honest argument for why he supports legalization.
Daniel Biss is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois. Biss has previously stated his support for marijuana legalization, but he expanded on it recently at a campaign stop at a classroom. He explained why he supports legalization because the current laws are racially biased and hurt minority communities.
“The application of cannabis law, in Illinois and America today is fundamentally biased. The law is applied completely differently in communities of color, as compared majority-white communities, and it’s wrong and it’s immoral,” Biss said. “Instead of pretending that we can somehow avoid that, I think it’s time that we solve the problem the correct way by legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. That to me is the core issue.”
Biss discussed how he supports using marijuana taxes to help raise funds for the government, but said that the focus should be on ending unjust laws rather than the money it can generate.
“Others say ‘Hey, would you like the revenue and the answer is sure. If we legalize it, and regulate it properly and tax it appropriately that will be a revenue source for the state and that’s great news," Biss said. “The reason to do it shouldn’t be driven by revenue, it should be driven first and foremost by criminal justice and racial justice and there’s very, very, very powerful evidence that we have to do this if we want a just society.”
Biss is currently neck-and-neck with J.B Pritzker, a businessman and heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, for the Democratic nomination for governor in Illinois. Pritzker has also said he supports marijuana legalization, so whoever wins the nomination will be a victory for marijuana advocates. That person will then face off against Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who is unpopular in the state.
(h/t The Grio)