Incumbent Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is struggling in polls for re-election, but has decided to continue his strategy of not supporting marijuana legalization.
Rauner recently reaffirmed his position to only support medical marijuana legalization in Illinois. He noted that he signed a bill allowing people with opioid prescriptions to receive medicinal cannabis and believed that was a great policy. But he said Illinois should wait to legalize recreational marijuana and study legalized states before making any judgments.
“What I’ve done is visit governors of other states [where marijuana is legal] and medical professionals, and what most of them have recommended is that we in Illinois should wait and watch,” Rauner said. “Because they’re learning a lot of painful lessons. And it is not all been good.”
Rauner is also learning some painful lessons about how the people of Illinois see him. He's up for re-election next month running against Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker, who supports recreational marijuana legalization. Almost every poll in the past month shows Pritzker with at least a 10 point lead over Rauner (including one that says he's winning by an insane 22 points).
Many believed Rauner only signed a bill earlier this year to expand Illinois' medical marijuana program as a way to appeal to voters who support legalization, but obviously that has not helped.