Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses legal marijuana, other issues, at City Hall press conference

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CHICAGO — The mayor made herself available Friday for a press conference — opening herself up to questions, honing on a few topics.

Among the many topics Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed, she touched on the bombshell report by WBEZ after an email from a former lobbyist hinted at a rape cover-up.

“It’s mind boggling that someone would put something like that in an email so blithely as an argument for why a particular person should be saved from disciplinary action,” she said.

In the email, powerful Springfield lobbyist and close friend of House Speaker Michael Madigan, Michael McClain urged aides to then-Gov. Pat Quinn to avoid firing a worker who had kept his mouth shut about a Champaign rape and ghost payrolling.

“This is about Mike McClain and his actions and as I said to me the most important thing is we have a potential victim out there. There is a proper investigation I hope and believe there will be,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor also spoke about the taxes on recreational marijuana, and was asked if she felt they were too high and would result in fueling a black market.

She said the taxes are high for a reason, and wouldn't re-evaluate for at least a year.

Lightfoot also touched on a new recreational marijuana proposal, that would create new spaces for people to legally smoke the drug in the city.

“We have to have places for people to legally consume marijuana particularly renters whose landlords are not going to allow them consume in their residences. so that was the whole thrust of carving out some spaces,” Lightfoot said.

And lastly, after two reported coyote attacks in the city, the mayor praised the city's response, and head of Animal Care and Control.

“Never did I think I'd be talking about alligators in one breath and coyote in the next,” Lightfoot said. “She's handled things really well, come up with a good plan, we had the right experts in place. And we were still out there being diligent, because there's lots of different sightings.”

When it comes to recreational marijuana, the mayor also said she thinks converting some existing tobacco businesses that have smoke rooms, adding space with separate ventilation for consuming marijuana could be a place to start.

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