City of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Saturday that because revenues generated by the sale of medical and recreational cannabis have “gone through the roof,” she will cancel 350 planned layoffs, decrease the number of planned furloughs to those earning more than $100,000 a year versus $50,000, and “bond against” cannabis revenues – to the tune of $15 million.
This will ensure Chicago’s public workers, the backbone of our neighborhoods, maintain their jobs and health insurance while also protecting the critical services Chicagoans rely on during these unprecedented times.
The “through the roof” revenues topped $100 million statewide for the first time in October and $800 million in the first 10 months of the year, and is an example of a vital issue we canvassed in July: That ending the prohibition on cannabis is key to coming out of the Covid-depressed economy.
Over the summer outlets such as Forbes, CNBC, and even the conservative leaning National Review, published articles arguing that ending cannabis prohibition will help rescue the pandemic-depressed economy just as ending alcohol prohibition helped rescue the country from the Great Depression.
The Chicago example says they’re right and the recent election suggests people are catching on: The legalization of cannabis was on the ballot in 5 states and the measure passed in all of them. Montana, Arizona, and New Jersey approved recreational use (medical use was already legal); Mississippi approved medical use, and South Dakota approved both.
And significantly, the voting was bipartisan: Montana, Mississippi, and South Dakota voted Republican; Arizona and New Jersey, Democrat.