New states legalize recreational marijuana


Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. last week joined Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. According to, Alaska passed this law in a 52% in-favor vote, Oregon a 54% majority, and Washington’s votes were 65% in favor of legalizing.

Currently 23 states, including Illinois, also have medical marijuana; it appears that changes are to come for the future in regard to legalizing marijuana. The majority of states are moving in the direction of legalizing the substance in some matter; whether medicinal or recreational. Illinois, however, remains hesitant to sign bills to legalize it recreationally.

A major argument against the legalization of recreational in marijuana in Illinois is found at, emphasizing the current issue of drinking and driving. Head director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, John Kennedy, pointed out that if recreational marijuana was legalized, Illinois would have the added issue of being high and driving.

However, an argument in favor of legalizing the substance emphasizes the ability to tax marijuana, which could provide monetary help for the government.

Mr. Klokkenga (Normal West social studies teacher) shares his opinion about Illinois’ future in regard to legalizing recreational marijuana: “I think the argument for legalizing marijuana for recreational use is an interesting one, yet I don’t think there is enough of a push for this to happen yet as medicinal marijuana was just OK’ed not too long ago.”

As Mr. Klokkengak stated, medical marijuana was just legalized and Illinois may need time to see how that affects the state. He believes that “it may become legalized in the future, but it won’t be in the near future.”

Normal West students view the matter a bit differently. Brittany Ross (12) believes that recreational marijuana will in fact become legalized in Illinois for those aged 18 and older. Brittany said, “I think you’ll have to be 18 to smoke marijuana, because that’s how old you have to be to smoke cigarettes.”

Brennan Auth (11) said, “as time goes on I think this issue will be more widely accepted, and Illinois will follow other states’ leads to legalize recreational marijuana.” He believes the legal age will be 21, because that’s how old one must be to drink alcohol; he feels these two issues are similar because they both alter your state of mind.

Though opinions are mixed, Illinois’ future regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana still remains a mystery.