Illinois state senators last week decided 37-13 that they should ask Illinois voters in November whether recreational marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed.
If it were to pass the Illinois House, state lawmakers would not be required to follow the will of the people. The referendum would simply be a giant opinion poll.
What a waste of time.
First, there are already plenty of opinion polls on this subject. The Pew Research Center just asked that question nationally, and found 61 percent of Americans support legalizing pot.
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Do Illinois lawmakers really expect a different answer here?
Of course not. What they are after is first, political cover so they can legalize pot and tax the bejeezus out of it, and second, campaign cash before and after their various votes on legalization.
If they really cared about our opinions, there are much better questions. They could ask about term limits, independent legislative district mapping, a balanced state budget, pension reform or government consolidation.
Not only don't they care about those answers, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan went to great lengths to prevent the independent map referendum from making it onto the ballot.
Remember, a lot of politicians are lawyers. They know you never ask a question in court, or in the court of public opinion, to which you don't already know the answer.