Recreational marijuana sales in Illinois are “essential” according to our state’s leaders. Why? Because according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, revenue generated by adult-use sales funds social justice and equity goals that are “at the core of Illinois’ adult use law.”

If recreational marijuana is so essential, why is it illegal according to federal law and only legal in 10 other states?

$109 million of marijuana products were purchased in Illinois in the first three months of 2020. Of the $27 million purchased in March, $8.8 million (nearly 30%) was bought by out-of-state residents.

Church services, hair care, hunting and fishing on state property are prohibited as nonessential. Of course, they don’t bring in the high taxes or nonresidents’ money that our recreational marijuana does.

It seems that the difference between essential and nonessential, according to our Illinois leaders, is not what is good for the public, but what brings in the most money.

— Philip J. Meyers, Rockford