Emanuel, Lewis Clash on Legalizing Marijuana 
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Emanuel, Lewis Clash on Legalizing Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on September 25, 2014 at 05:13:07 PT
By John Byrne and Bill Ruthhart, Tribune Reporter
Source: Chicago Tribune 
Illinois -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday knocked down potential challenger Karen Lewis' idea to legalize and tax marijuana, saying he doesn't “think you should balance the budget by promoting recreational smoking of pot.”.The mayor's comments came a day after he proposed a statewide easing of penalties for possessing small amounts of illegal narcotics including heroin and cocaine, and asked state lawmakers to adopt Chicago's ordinance allowing police to issue tickets rather than arresting people caught with fewer than 15 grams of marijuana.
Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union who's mulling a mayoral run, said in response to Emanuel's plan that legalizing marijuana as lawmakers did in Colorado and Washington is “another revenue source that we ought to look at.”“I think it’s important for us to start thinking very differently about revenue sources,” Lewis said. “In Colorado, in the first quarter alone, the state generated $80 million. Come on. Not only that, but having a sensible drug policy stops a lot of other silliness.”From January to the end of June, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado generated about $21.6 million in taxes and fees, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Medical marijuana sales, which are taxed at a much lower rate in Colorado, generated about $18.6 million in taxes and fees from July 2013 to the end of June 2014, according to that state’s revenue department.Told that the mayor criticized her idea, Lewis said the casino that Emanuel wants to build in Chicago to boost revenue would be much more damaging to Chicagoans than legalized cannabis.“I know for a fact that casinos have a devastating effect on families and communities, and people have lost their houses because they have gambling addictions and problems,” Lewis said. “But recreational usage of marijuana is worse? Come on. How do you compare that, to you also promoting casinos, which damage families way, way, way worse?”Speaking at a news conference at the Shedd Aquarium on Great Lakes water standards, Emanuel also acknowledged he “made a mistake” by deciding to name a proposed selective enrollment North Side high school after President Barack Obama, whom he once served as chief of staff.Emanuel, who's trying to mend fences with black voters ahead of the February 2015 city election, reversed course last week following criticism from African-American officials who feel it's an affront to bestow the honor on an exclusive school in an affluent, predominantly white part of the city.“In my rush to honor our favorite son, I made a mistake,” Emanuel said. “I heard the community, and it's not going to be named after the president.”African-American aldermen said they told the mayor shortly after he announced plans for Barack Obama College Preparatory High School in April that a school named after the president should be located on the South Side, where Obama has a home and got his start as a community organizer.Emanuel said his goal is to secure the Obama presidential library as something that would be named after the president. And he said the now-unnamed selective enrollment high school will still “probably” be built on the Near North Side because there are ample resources in the special taxing districts in that part of the city to cover the $60 million construction cost. Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author:  John Byrne and Bill Ruthhart, Tribune ReporterPublished: September 24, 2014Copyright: 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLCWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by Oleg the Tumor on September 25, 2014 at 08:41:46 PT
Meanwhile, on the Titanic…
… The fight for deck chairs goes on.Chicago's Mayor, however, is only looking for a toadstool.
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