Chicago alderman proposes ideas to help reduce crime

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 13: An activists smokes a marijuana joint prior to marching in the annual Hemp Parade (Hanfparade) on August 13, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. German proponents of cannabis legalization are hoping that the legalization in several states in the USA in recent years will increase the likelihood of legalization in Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

This week, 47th ward alderman Ameya Pawar proposed ideas to help decrease crime rates in Illinois and put an end to the war on drugs.

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According to the Chicago Tribune, Pawar spoke at a community center in Bronzeville Tuesday afternoon, proposing “legalizing and taxing marijuana; releasing nonviolent, low-level drug offenders; and eliminating cash bail to change a criminal justice system he said is rooted in racism.”

Talk of legalizing and taxing marijuana has been around Chicago for a some time, an argument notably led by the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky. The argument is supported after seeing the tax revenue brought in by other cities and states that have legalized marijuana, most notably Colorado, which has generated over $500 million in marijuana tax revenue since 2014.

Illinois state legislatures have already projected that the state could see between $350 million to $700 million in just one year from taxing marijuana.

While currently alderman in the 47th Ward, which primarily covers the Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, and North Center neighborhoods, he is also a candidate for governor for the state-wide election next year. He is looking to secure the Democratic nomination running as a populist progressive.

His platform is built around a very FDR-like language, discussing a New Deal for Illinois. The issues that he is focusing on are increasing funding of public education, providing better child care for families, creating new middle-class jobs, criminal justice reform and breaking down institutionalized racism.

RELATED: Jeff Sessions is misleading Congress to advance his inhumane war on medical marijuana

The primary for the Democratic nomination takes place in March 2018. The elected Democratic candidate will be running against Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in November 2018.

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