Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle cited a racial disparity in enforcement of laws against the use of marijuana as the reason she now favors legalization of the drug.
Preckwinkle made her assertion during a public hearing Monday in Chicago about legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois.
Democratic State Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago has proposed legislation that would legalize the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and allow facilities to sell marijuana products.
During her testimony, Preckwinkle noted her daughter visited a friend attending Northwestern University and came back with a story of students smoking pot in public and no one objecting.
Lawmakers are also hearing from opponents to marijuana legalization, including doctors who deal with addiction and members of the religious community. Many contend legalization will have a negative impact.