When they became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Colorado and Washington started something big. Since then, another eight states, along with the District of Columbia, have followed suit, including California, Massachusetts and — a Midwest first — Michigan. Gov. J. B. Pritzker is eager to see Illinois join the movement.
Embracing pot may turn out to be a fine idea in the end. But our advice is to slow down the rush to legislation, pay attention to what’s happened in these other jurisdictions and give serious consideration to the problems that could arise. It’s more important to make the policy right than to make it quickly.
Illinois was late to the game in approving medical use of marijuana in 2013. It limited access to patients with one of some 35 conditions. In 2016, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill removing criminal penalties