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Conservative GOP support for pot legalization could tip scale

The legalization of marijuana in Illinois has begun to take on an air of inevitability — this week’s decision by the Cook County Board to hold a non-binding referendum in March providing just the latest evidence.
But it wasn’t the high-profile decision by our left-leaning county commissioners that convinced me nearly as much as a relatively obscure pronouncement a week earlier by a downstate Republican legislator.
Sen. Jason Barickman, a decidedly conservative lawmaker from Bloomington, announced on Facebook he is willing to support legalized cannabis “if it is done correctly.”
Doing it correctly, in Barickman’s view, would include taxing marijuana sales and using the new revenue to pay down state debt and provide tax relief.
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