On Jan. 1, Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana. Will Chicago and the rest of Illinois be ready to handle the experience? We wonder.
Earlier this month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot tried to clarify one vague aspect of the new state law, which bans the consumption of cannabis in “public spaces.” Does that mean lighting up anywhere on your own property is OK? Not OK? Lightfoot said that as far as Chicago is concerned, using cannabis in your own backyard or on your balcony is fine. She added that Chicago police officers are being trained “how they should use discretion in their enforcement powers to educate residents on the new legalization laws.” If the result is that all officers apply that discretion fairly and equally as everyone gets comfortable with the sudden visible use of a once-illegal drug, we’ll be both pleased, and surprised.