420 Magazine Background

Some Illinois Citizens Debate Legalizing Sale Of Marijuana


New Member
When one thinks of cash crops in Illinois, marijuana is generally not a plant that comes to mind. However, marijuana is now the state's third ranked money crop.

According to a report published in the Bulletin for Cannabis Reform December 2006 by Dr. Jon Gettman, a regional economics expert and adjunct instructor at Shepard University, Illinois' marijuana crop was valued at more than $272 million. Corn was valued at $4 billion and soybeans at $2.7 billion.

"Despite intensive eradication efforts, domestic marijuana production has increased ten fold over the last 25 years, from 2.2 million pounds in 1981 to 22 million pounds in 2006," Gettman said.

"Its proliferation to every part of the country demonstrates that marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the national economy," Gettman added.

Because of the economic value marijuana possesses, some believe that the crop should become a legal, controlled crop in Illinois.

"We think that marijuana should be regulated as a legal controlled crop. We see Illinois in a budget crisis right now, and revenue from the marijuana crop could help with this," Bryan Brickner, a chairperson of Illinois NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said.

Some citizens have noticed the economic value marijuana possesses and have taken measures in their own hands to benefit from the revenue.

"Two years ago in Oakland, California, Measure Seven was passed by the citizens. These people wanted marijuana to be sold and taxed in their city in order for the revenue from the sales to go towards their local schools. The citizens have spoken," Brickner said.

"We are the only group of Americans saying please tax us! There are so many problems, such as lack of funding for schools, that could be helped with revenue from marijuana" Brickner added.

While some like Gettman and Brickner believe that making marijuana a controlled, specialty crop would help Illinois' economy greatly, others disagree.

"The extent to which the state's economy benefits from such a change would depend, in part, on the extent to which the crop is exported to other states. If it was all sold within the state, it would simply act as a transfer of revenue from one sector, e.g., alcohol, to another and the impact would likely be minimal," Jeffrey Carlson, an associate economics professor, said.

"Of course one would also have to factor in the likely adverse affects of increased usage of marijuana on worker productivity. Finally, considering the impact of agriculture as a whole in Illinois, the overall impact would likely be very small," Carlson added.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The Daily Vidette (Normal, IL)
Author: Krisi Kawanna
Contact: kkawanna@mail.vidette.ilstu.edu
Copyright: 2007 The Daily Vidette
Website: Some Illinois citizens debate legalizing sale of Marijuana
Top Bottom