Travel guru Rick Steves has journeyed all over the world, but the host of the PBS travel show “Rick Steves’ Europe” has landed in Chicago for a most unconventional reason: testifying before a legislative panel to push for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
“Seventy thousand people are arrested for possession of marijuana, not violent crimes. They’re not rich white guys. They’re poor people and they’re black people,” Steves said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
“Legalization simply has been shown to work in other states to improve the quality of the product, reduce the black market and then you can tax and regulate it appropriately,” he said.
Steves joins us on “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday evening.
Video: Steves speaks Tuesday at a press conference with state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), the sponsors of a marijuana legalization bill. (Steves begins speaking at the 3:30 mark.)
July 11: As legislators in Springfield debate the future of marijuana, some believe there is a major disconnect between Illinois’ laws and shifting public opinion.
April 12: Illinois recently sanctioned marijuana for medicinal use, and a law signed last July decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug. Could full-scale legalization be next?
Feb. 24: At least 16 states have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes. Could Illinois be next?