Poll: Most Illinoisans support cannabis legalization, not happy - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Poll: Most Illinoisans support cannabis legalization, not happy with state's direction

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A majority of Illinoisans favor legalizing recreational marijuana if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol, a new poll shows.

The Southern Illinois University poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said 66 percent of respondents favor cannabis legalization, versus 32 percent opposed. Three percent answered differently or do not know. 

Illinoisans also registered massive disapproval of the state's direction, with 84 percent of respondents saying the state is headed in the wrong direction versus nine percent who say the state is headed the right way. Seven percent didn't know. This compared unfavorably with Illinoisans' view of the country's direction, where 64 percent thought the country is headed the wrong way versus 27 percent who thought the country is headed in the right direction. 

“Voters have been more negative about the state of Illinois than the rest of the country since the inception of our poll in 2008,” said Charlie Leonard, an Institute visiting professor and one of the designers of the poll. “It is notable that the state ratings are still 20 percentage points more negative than the national ratings and there is an 18 percent gap between Illinois and the nation on the ‘right direction’ option.”

In local communities, 54 percent of respondents thought their town or city is headed in the right direction, versus 37 percent who say it is not. 

Click here to view the full poll results. 

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