March 21 (UPI) -- Illinois voters have indicated that Chicago may soon join states like Washington and Colorado in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Cook County voters favored a nonbinding referendum Tuesday that asked if they favored legalizing the drug.
"Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?" the referendum asked.
Sixty-three percent responded "yes."
Unofficial results showed nearly 260,000 people favored legalization, and 151,000 did not.
The majority of the voters Tuesday were residents of Chicago, Cook County's largest city.
Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said funds from taxing marijuana would help the local government fund social safety net programs, including rehabilitation for chronic drug users.
"I'm all for it to be honest," resident Raghad Hashlamoun told the Chicago Tribune. "I don't see a problem with it because I think it would make the economy better."
Lincolnwood, Ill., Police Chief Bruce Rottner said he supports legalization, but has concerns with how officers might gauge its effects on drivers.
Evanston, Ill., Police Chief Richard Eddington said he opposes the idea -- not because of any criminal aspect, but due to research that shows the drug may have a negative influence on IQ scores.
Others argue the drug has potential negative health risks and should only be used for medical purposes, which became legal in Illinois in 2013.
"I care a lot about this and I'm against legalizing it. As somebody who works in the health care sector, I'm still against it," voter Phillip Elue said.