WBEZ | marijuana http://www.wbez.org/tags/marijuana Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois lawmakers call for pot task force http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-call-pot-task-force-110091 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Marijuana Arrests.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the state of Illinois drafts rules for medical marijuana, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey wants lawmakers to open up the discussion for recreational pot use.</p><p>Fritchey&#39;s proposing the state legislature form a task force as a first step toward full legalization.</p><p>&ldquo;We can find a way to do this and look at what other states have done, and cherry pick the good ideas, dismiss the bad ideas and find a workable policy that recognizes what we&rsquo;re doing now simply isn&rsquo;t right,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Fritchey was joined by State Representatives Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) and Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) who looked to Colorado and Washington, states that have already legalized recreational pot use.</p><p>Colorado officials anticipate generating about $184 million in tax revenue in the first 18 months of legalized sale. That&rsquo;s an attractive figure for some lawmakers of the cash strapped state of Illinois.</p><p>Some critics say legalizing pot would open the door to greater substance abuse, especially among teens.</p><p>Fritchey said regulation would address such concerns. He noted at least some portion of legalization or decriminalization would put less of a strain on resources for public safety.</p><p>&ldquo;Marijuana usage among racial categories is essentially the same,&rdquo; Fritchey said.&nbsp; &ldquo;The disparity in Chicago and Cook County is overwhelmingly disproportionate toward African-Americans and Latinos being arrested for simple possession.&rdquo;</p><p>During the press conference, lawmakers were asked if they would try pot if it were legalized. After a second of nervous laughter, Fritchey said a hesitation to answer the question reveals that the topic needs more discussion; people aren&rsquo;t comfortable talking about it.</p><p>Fritchey recognized it would be some time before any legislation is introduced.</p><p>In February, State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) introduced a bill calling for the state to study recreational cannabis. It now sits in committee.</p><p><em>Susie An is WBEZ&rsquo;s business reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/soosieon">@soosieon</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-call-pot-task-force-110091 Morning Shift: The good, bad and ugly of unemployment numbers throughout Illinois http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-17/morning-shift-good-bad-and-ugly-unemployment-numbers <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Unemployment Flickr Tax Credits.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We look at the latest job numbers for Illinois and what towns have the highest unemployment. Also, the music of Sondheim - we get a visit from the cast of the Shakespeare Theater&#39;s production of Road Show.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-good-bad-and-ugly-of-unemploymen/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-good-bad-and-ugly-of-unemploymen.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-good-bad-and-ugly-of-unemploymen" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The good, bad and ugly of unemployment numbers throughout Illinois" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-17/morning-shift-good-bad-and-ugly-unemployment-numbers Can you lose weight on the marijuana diet? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-lose-weight-marijuana-diet-108996 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Marijuana Diet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://themarijuanadiet.org/">&quot;marijuana diet&quot;</a> may sound like something you&#39;d read about in The Onion. But for its creator, the diet is no joke.</p><p dir="ltr">Art Glass, 66, whose background is in marketing and advertising, says he ballooned up to 345 pounds years ago but returned to a healthy weight by following the tenets of his self-styled strategy, which includes light to moderate smoking but also a healthy diet. <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/eat-this-author-offers">He talked about it on WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Shift Wednesday.</a></p><p dir="ltr">Glass&rsquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Marijuana-Diet-Anonymous-1-ebook/dp/B00EP0UUGA"> e-book &ldquo;The Marijuana Diet&rdquo; &nbsp;went up on Amazon</a> this week and prescribes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts and nuts along with occasional fasting and superfood smoothies. It further recommends modest amounts of high-quality pastured and grass-fed animal protein, and the elimination of processed foods, white sugar and flour.</p><p dir="ltr">This alone might be enough to improve a dieter&#39;s health, but Glass also suggests regular exercises--mostly long-held poses that can be done on a chair, a couch or standing.</p><p dir="ltr">So is the marijuana aspect of the diet really that crucial? &nbsp;Maybe not for some.</p><p dir="ltr">But for those whose unhealthy eating habits stem from psychological or emotional issues, Glass believes smoking can help them explore the triggers or experiences that have led to their self-destructive behavior.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Losing weight is one of the most challenging things there is,&rdquo; Glass said on the Morning Shift Wednesday. &nbsp;&ldquo;Marijuana helps you get in touch with yourself and let go of the crap you don&rsquo;t need and when you let go of that psychological crap, you will let go of your weight.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Glass uses his own experience as evidence and, in his book, catalogues more than 100 testimonials from Internet users who also report pot-induced weight loss. Their screen names include &ldquo;stonerchick609&rdquo; or &ldquo;smotpoker&rdquo;.</p><p dir="ltr">But he also cites peer reviewed studies that show correlations between pot smoking (among adults) and better metabolic health.</p><p dir="ltr">One <a href="http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/08/24/aje.kwr200.abstract">2011 study that appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology</a> looked at two large populations of American adults and found obesity rates of 22 percent and 25.3 percent among non-marijuana smokers but only 14.3 percent and 17.2 percent among marijuana smokers, even when researchers controlled for other factors.</p><p dir="ltr">Another <a href="http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2813%2900200-3/abstract">2013 study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine</a> showed lower insulin levels and waist circumference (an indicator of dangerous visceral fat) among regular pot smokers.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, for Dr. Rasa Kazlauskaite, who is the Acting Medical Director at Rush University and a researcher of &nbsp;cannabinoids, these studies show association not causation. In other words, she thinks that the better health could be linked to other factors.</p><p dir="ltr">She also points out what munchie sufferers know well: that marijuana has been traditionally associated with appetite stimulation and increased food consumption rather than appetite suppression. She points to the drug rimonabant that aided weight loss by blocking human cannabinoid (marijuana) receptors--it was later withdrawn from the market due to dangerous side effects.</p><p dir="ltr">Glass says that he&rsquo;s no stranger to the munchies but suggests combating them by taking no more than three tokes per smoking session, smoking alone and never eating while under the influence. &nbsp;He recommends using that time for exercise and self-guided reflections on the root causes of one&rsquo;s unhealthy behavior.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It sounds like the author is recommending self-treatment, being your own psychologist,&rdquo; Kazlauskaite said. &ldquo;For some people it might work but others might benefit from guidance. I would recommend meeting with a behavioral specialist who specializes in therapy for obesity.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Kazlauskaite, however, agrees with some of Glass&rsquo; nutritional advice, especially his emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables and the removal of sugar and processed foods.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Some of these recommendations are really desirable changes for people who want to lose weight or maintain a lighter weight,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So if someone smokes marijuana but also makes better meal and snack choices then that is better than not making healthy nutritional decisions at all. But it might be that without smoking marijuana people might lose more weight. If someone wants to test this hypothesis the ideal study would be to compare diet alone with diet and marijuana.&rdquo; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng &nbsp;is a WBEZ producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank">@monicaeng</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 17:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-lose-weight-marijuana-diet-108996 Morning Shift: Getting the band back together http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-08/morning-shift-getting-band-back-together-108333 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/microphone-Flickr- ceratosaurrr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For this week&#39;s &quot;Music Thursday&quot;, Richard Steele and Sound Opinions&#39; Robin Linn play tunes from some of their favorite bands who reunited and brought the hits (and misses) back to the fans.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-39.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-39" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Getting the band back together" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-08/morning-shift-getting-band-back-together-108333 Morning Shift: Medical marijauna 101 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-05/morning-shift-medical-marijauna-101-108283 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Marijuana 2-Flickr- it was 3 a.m.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today we school you on the ins and outs of Illinois&#39; new medical marijuana law. Still confused on what it entails? Call us with your questions. And &quot;Deal Estate&quot; columnist Dennis Rodkin breaks down the boom in Chicago&#39;s hotel industry.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-35.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-35" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Medical marijauna 101" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 08:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-05/morning-shift-medical-marijauna-101-108283 ACLU finds racial disparities in Illinois pot arrests http://www.wbez.org/news/aclu-finds-racial-disparities-illinois-pot-arrests-107555 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/3635_7811e70cf25bbc2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois say one way to address racial disparities in marijuana arrests is to stop making them.</p><p>A new report from the civil rights group calls for the legalization of marijuana. The study found that African Americans in Illinois are almost eight times more likely than whites to be arrested for pot possession.</p><p>Ed Yohnka, director of public policy for the ACLU of Illinois, says whites and blacks use pot at about the same rate, but enforcement focuses on African Americans.</p><p>&ldquo;We see this in the city of Chicago, we see it in other areas, that &hellip; where the enforcement is targeted is at people of color. And it results in this grossly disparate rate of arrest,&rdquo; Yohnka said.</p><p>In an emailed statement, a spokesman for the Chicago police Department said police officers enforce laws in the interest of public safety and without regard to race.</p><p>According to the ACLU report, Illinois has the fourth highest rate of race disparity in marijuana arrests in the country.</p><p>Yohnka says that disparity &ldquo;results in really tragic outcomes in &hellip; people&rsquo;s lives,&rdquo; because of court costs and the stigma of a criminal record.&nbsp; It cost the state about $221 million to enforce marijuana laws in 2010, according to the report.</p><p>&ldquo;This war on marijuana &hellip; is an abject failure,&rdquo; Yohnka said.</p><p>In its report the ACLU recommends that pot be legal for anyone over 21, and be licensed, taxed and regulated like any other product. The group also suggests that tax revenue from marijuana sales could be earmarked for substance-abuse prevention, among other things.Yohnka says the public wants marijuana to be legalized and that elected officials are lagging behind popular opinion.</p><p>Despite that, marijuana arrests are trending up, not down, in Illinois and throughout the country.</p><p>Illinois had 12,406 more pot arrests in 2010 than it did in 2001, according to the report.</p><p>The results of the study didn&#39;t come as a big shock to Juliana Stratton, but she says she was surprised to see that Cook County had the most marijuana possession arrests in the country.<br /><br />Stratton, who heads the Cook County Judicial Advisory Council, says the report confirms the importance of the work being done by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to try and cut down on the number of marijuana arrests in the county.<br /><br />She says more money and energy should be diverted away from law enforcement and toward treatment and prevention. In the coming months, she says the county will be unveiling programs that will divert minor drug offenders away from jail and toward rehabilitation.<br /><br />As for Cook County&#39;s high number of pot arrests, Stratton says part of the reason could be the Chicago Police Department&#39;s focus on quality-of-life policing and the drying up of state funds for drug treatment.<br /><br />Stratton says CPD&#39;s policy of arresting minor offenders as part of the &quot;broken windows theory&quot; of policing, runs counter to the county president&#39;s aim of decreasing the population of the Cook County Jail.</p><p>Illinois state Sen. Mattie Hunter, who heads the Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission, also said &nbsp;she was not surprised by the ACLU&rsquo;s findings. She says the report echoes what she and her colleagues have found in years studying racial inequality throughout the state.</p><p>But Hunter says the problem won&rsquo;t go away until racism is eradicated from the justice system.</p><p>Hunter does not support the legalization of marijuana.</p><p>Cook County led the nation in marijuana possession arrests in 2010 with 33,000, or 91 per day, according to the ACLU report.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/aclu-finds-racial-disparities-illinois-pot-arrests-107555 Come see me at Paper Machete tomorrow http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/come-see-me-paper-machete-tomorrow-107469 <p><p>Tomorrow I&#39;ll be reading at Christopher Piatt&#39;s <a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/2013/05/31/61-lineup-summer-kickoff-edition/">Paper Machete</a>, which is one of the first shows I mention when people ask me about the best readings in Chicago. I&#39;m going to discuss pot and Trayvon Martin. No lie. Aren&#39;t you intrigued? Some come down to the historic Green Mill, get your day drink on and enjoy the show!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/396306_10150537645499250_1327787318_n.jpg" title="" /></div><p><strong><a href="http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/145">BASSPROV</a><br /><a href="http://www.cdm.depaul.edu/people/pages/facultyinfo.aspx?fid=535">LISA BUSCANI</a><br /><a href="http://www.chrisdoucette.com/comedy/">CHRIS DOUCETTE</a><br />BRAD EINSTEIN<br />CLAIRE MULANEY AND JO SCOTT<br /><a href="http://www.zulkey.com">CLAIRE ZULKEY</a></strong></p><p>Plus cabaret music by <strong>GLAD FANNY</strong> and special musical guests <strong>SOFTWARE GIANT</strong></p><p><em>3 p.m. at the <em>GREEN MILL</em> in Uptown, Free!</em></p></p> Fri, 31 May 2013 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/come-see-me-paper-machete-tomorrow-107469 Illinois Lt. Gov supports medical marijuana http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lt-gov-supports-medical-marijuana-107136 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP366129178406 (2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said she is in favor of a bill allowing the medical use of marijuana, explaining Sunday that testimony from seriously ill veterans and other patients helped change her mind.</p><p>&quot;As a former prosecutor my first reaction was, &#39;I&#39;m not interested in changing our laws on medical marijuana,&#39;&quot; she told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday.</p><p>But she said that after hearing from patients and reading up on the bill, she&#39;s convinced the regulations are strict enough.</p><p>Backers of the measure, which has cleared the Illinois House and awaits a Senate vote, have said the same thing.</p><p>The plan, touted as the strictest in the nation among states that have legalized medical marijuana, would authorize physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with whom they have an existing relationship and who are living with at least one of more than 30 medical conditions, including cancer.</p><p>The proposal creates a framework for a pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks. It also sets a 2.5-ounce limit per patient per purchase and sets out state-regulated dispensaries.</p><p>Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without the detrimental side effects of prescription drugs. But opponents say the program could encourage recreational use, especially among teenagers.</p><p>The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs&#39; Association are opposed to the measure, saying there&#39;s no sure way to figure out whether a motorist is driving under the influence of marijuana.</p><p>But Simon told the AP the bill is strict enough to prevent misuse.</p><p>&quot;It does a good job of both getting medical marijuana to people who need and keeping it away from those who don&#39;t,&quot; she said.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has been noncommittal whether he would sign the bill, saying instead that he is open-minded to the idea.</p><p>Simon is weighing a run for another statewide office instead of seeking another term as lieutenant governor. The Carbondale Democrat declined Sunday to say which office she will run for, saying she will wait to see how other shape up.</p><p>Simon is likely choosing between Illinois&#39; attorney general, comptroller or treasurer. In recent months, Simon has played up her law-related background and accomplishments including as a pro bono lawyer and prosecutor.</p><p>Her decision comes as the 2014 governor&#39;s race is heating up and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is weighing a possible challenge to Quinn.</p></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 07:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lt-gov-supports-medical-marijuana-107136 Would legal pot hit Chicago gangs’ pocketbooks? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/would-legal-pot-hit-chicago-gangs%E2%80%99-pocketbooks-106938 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90506668&amp;color=00e9ff&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Elmhurst resident Siva Iyer read Sudhir Venkatesh&rsquo;s pop academic book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gang-Leader-Day-Sociologist-Streets/dp/B004E3XDFI">Gang Leader for a Day</a>, which got him thinking about the economics and industrial side of marijuana.</p><p>The culture around weed has changed over the years, enough that Colorado and Washington have legalized the drug. Is Illinois on the verge of putting legalization to a test? Not likely, but it&rsquo;s worth contemplating. Earlier this year the Illinois House passed a medical marijuana act. And the city of Chicago has decriminalized possession, a policy designed to free up police hours. Officers can now <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/has-idea-ticketing-pot-gone-smoke-104861">ticket</a> for possession of fewer than 15 grams.</p><p>Iyer, who works in the pharmaceutical industry, wondered how gangs would make up for any lost income if &mdash; one day &mdash; weed were sold on store shelves.</p><p>So Iyer asked Curious City:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>If Illinois legalizes marijuana, how could that affect the economics&nbsp;</em><em>of the drug trade among gangs?</em></p><p>The short answer is: not much.</p><p>Iyer and I went to visit Midwest drug czar Jack Riley in a downtown federal building. Riley is Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division for the Drug Enforcement Agency. The blunt-speaking agent described &nbsp;a &ldquo;very toxic&rdquo; and &ldquo;profitable&rdquo; relationship between Chicago street organizations and the Mexican cartels, but it doesn&rsquo;t revolve around weed.</p><p>&ldquo;If marijuana were to be legalized here,&rdquo; Riley said, &ldquo;it would in my opinion have virtually little or no effect on the income of gangs.&rdquo;</p><p>Frankly, marijuana can be a logistical nightmare, Riley explained. It smells. It&rsquo;s bulky. It&rsquo;s hard to store. And it&rsquo;s got a short shelf-life. That is, it&rsquo;s the exact opposite of Chicago gangs&rsquo; &nbsp;and cartels&rsquo; actual drug of choice: heroin.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/SIVA%20FOR%20WEB_0.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; height: 246px; width: 150px;" title="Siva Iyer got us started on this question." />Here are the economics, according to Riley: A pound of decent-grade marijuana can run between $1,400-1,500. A kilo of cocaine sells for about $40,000. The real cash maker, Riley said, is the more compact heroin, which goes for $60,000 a kilo. He said it arrives from Mexico 90 percent pure and is sold at a purity of nine &nbsp;to 12 percent on the street after being cut and pumped with additives.</p><p>Riley said in the local drug trade, rival gangs collaborate these days over the dealing of heroin.</p><p>&ldquo;They very seldom interacted with other gangs other than to fight. So their business relationships were siloed. If someone in that particular gang &mdash; we&rsquo;ll talk about the Gangster Disciples &mdash; if somewhere in the GDs, [if] they didn&rsquo;t have a connection to a Mexican source or supply, they simply couldn&rsquo;t get the drugs,&rdquo; Riley said. &ldquo;Well now, as long as everyone&rsquo;s making money from business, we do begin to see, for instance, the Gangster Disciples, the Latin Kings and other criminal organizations begin to work together.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/DRUG CZAR GUIDE.jpg" style="width: 350px; float: left; height: 245px;" title="Data courtesy of Special Agent Jack Riley (Graphic by Logan Jaffe)" />The <a href="http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/apr/01/ap-impact-cartels-dispatch-agents-deep-inside-us/">Sinaloa Cartel</a> uses Chicago as a hub to distribute throughout the Midwest. The cartel&rsquo;s equivalent of a CEO is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/magazine/how-a-mexican-drug-cartel-makes-its-billions.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=1&amp;">El Chapo Guzman</a> and he&rsquo;s Chicago&rsquo;s Public Enemy No. 1. The last criminal bestowed with that title was Al Capone.</p><p>Riley said Mexican cartels still do the majority of trafficking of marijuana, but higher grades of marijuana arrive from the Pacific Northwest and Canada. At this point there&rsquo;s reason to suspect that &mdash; even if Illinois tokers could buy legal weed from corner stores &mdash; these folks would still stay in business.</p><p>&ldquo;Regardless of what we did on the legalization side, it would never eliminate the black market,&rdquo; Riley said.</p><p>I interviewed a guy who sells weed in the Chicago area. (For obvious legal reasons, he didn&rsquo;t want me to use his name.) He agrees with Riley and added, &ldquo;If they legalize it, I feel they gonna take all the good sh*t off the market and make it super expensive and sell all the bad sh*t for the legal consumption. I like it the way it is now.&rdquo;</p><p>He calls Mexican weed &ldquo;regular weed,&rdquo; lacking the potency of domestic marijuana. He said his weed comes from California and is known on the street as &ldquo;loud,&rdquo; which is a pun on the loud smell and signals that it was grown via hydroponics.</p><p>If Illinois legalizes marijuana, he said, the government would certainly tax the drug. But he explained that dealers already deal with a drug hierarchy and a tax of sorts: The weed connect sells to a middleman, who is charged a tax. That middleman might want to make $200 on the package, so he&rsquo;ll &ldquo;tax&rdquo; the next dealer.</p><p>But as the marijuana dealer I interviewed said, &ldquo;I can kind of deal with that than the government.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Natalie Moore is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">@natalieymoore</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 01 May 2013 14:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/would-legal-pot-hit-chicago-gangs%E2%80%99-pocketbooks-106938 Reporter's Notebook: If Illinois legalizes marijuana, how could that affect the economics of the drug trade among gangs? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/reporters-notebook-if-illinois-legalizes-marijuana-how-could-affect-economics <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/pot leaf.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="650" src="http://embed.verite.co/timeline/?source=0An_OJm0YASWadHhMMWQ4VHJmck5yMEdBNTlNRi1nZGc&amp;font=PTSerif-PTSans&amp;maptype=toner&amp;lang=en&amp;height=650" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/about-curious-city-98756">Curious City</a>&nbsp;is a news-gathering experiment designed to satisfy the public&#39;s curiosity.&nbsp;People&nbsp;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/ask">submit questions</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/ask">vote&nbsp;</a>for their favorites, and WBEZ reports out the winning questions in real time, on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/curiouscityproject">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#!/WBEZCuriousCity">Twitter&nbsp;</a>and the timeline above.</p><p>Siva Iyer from Elmhurt&nbsp;asked:&nbsp;If Illinois legalizes marijuana, how could that affect the economics of the drug trade among gangs? WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore investigates.&nbsp;</p><p>Where do you think we should start this investigation? How would you answer this? Comment below!</p></p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 15:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/reporters-notebook-if-illinois-legalizes-marijuana-how-could-affect-economics