An anti-cannabis group estimates legalizing recreational marijuana use will cost Illinois $670 million a year.
But pro-legalization pols say they’re just blowing smoke.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana, in collaboration with Healthy & Productive Illinois, concluded in a report on Thursday that drugged driving, as well as greater levels of workplace injury and absenteeism, would be the biggest contributors to the estimated cost.
The estimate contradicts the projections of pro-legalization lawmakers, who say allowing recreational use of the drug could bring in revenues of between $350 million and $700 million.
Kevin A. Sabet co-founded Smart Approaches to Marijuana after working as a drug policy advisor in President Barack Obama’s administration. He worries that the budding marijuana industry, if given free rein, would become the next Big Tobacco.
“We think marijuana is taking cues from Big Tobacco,” Sabet said. “This is not about mom and pop stores growing weed, this is all about Wall Street and Silicon Valley, rich white guys who want to get richer off marijuana.”
Sabet’s report was based on data that came from states where recreational marijuana has