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HomeIllinois NewsIllinois lawmakers vote to legalize pot

Illinois lawmakers vote to legalize pot



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SPRINGFIELD – On the last day of the regular session, the Illinois House joined the Senate in voting to legalize marijuana in a 66 to 47 vote and send it on to the Governor's desk, making Illinois the 11th state to follow the growing trend.

Three Republican House members – Lindsey Parkhurst, Allen Skillicorn and David Welter – voted with the Democrat majority. Their three votes gave more leeway to Democrats in conservative-leaning swing districts to vote no, including state Reps Fred Crespo, Anthony DeLuca, Mary Edly-Allen, Marty Moylan (who argued against the measure), and Susan Scherer. State Rep Mary Flowers, in a solid Democrat district, also voted against the measure. GOP state Rep. Skillicorn also signed on as a co-sponsor of HB 1836.

The legislation, House Bill 1438, allows for the recreational use of cannabis by individuals over the age of 21.  In addition, Illinois citizens can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and out of state individuals may possess up to 15 grams, and medical cannabis patients can grow up to 5 plants in their residence. The legislation would also expunge arrest records for possession of cannabis up to 30 grams and for convictions for possession of up to 30 grams, the Governor will pardon those individuals.

State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) did not vote in favor of the legislation and released the following statement:

“As a lawmaker and as a father, I have grave concerns about the message this sends our children. Beyond the health concerns I have, there are also issues with public safety and workforce safety.  Our law enforcement agencies do not support this.  They are not ready for this and don’t have the capabilities to enforce this.  This bill undermines our efforts to make our state safer and will put a greater burden on our social service agencies. As we’ve heard from residents of other states, Illinois is making a big mistake in failing to recognize the unintended consequences of legalization.”

State Representative Steve Reick (R-McHenry) said: 

“I am not conceptually against the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana, but I could not support the legislation as it was presented to us on Thursday. If our goal is to destroy the illegal street market and ensure a safer product while not increasing overall usage of marijuana, I believe we’re on the wrong path. By putting production and sales into the hands of companies that succeed or fail based on their ability to expand the market for their product, we are setting the stage for increased use of cannabis. A better path, in my opinion, would be to issue licenses for production and sale to non-profit entities with boards that protect public health and charters that limit their mission to meeting existing demand.”

Reick said legalizing a for-profit industry is a one-way street. "Once we do it there will be no going back and we run the risk of opening up a whole set of new problems. Prudence dictates that we learn to walk before we start to run," he said. "I want to see the black market for cannabis shut down as much as anyone, and I believe a well-constructed and enforced regulatory scheme that limits its reach would be a better option. If our true intent is to derail the illegal market, there’s no reason to rush the process. If it’s not about the money, let’s do this the right way and legalize the product without increasing usage.”

More to come … 

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  1. I just wish to point out the magnificent irony here when our “elected officials” do exactly the opposite on one set of laws versus what they enacted into law on another set of laws. They seem to want their cake and eat it too. They are preaching that they don’t want our young people or anybody smoking in the state of Illinois because it is a proven health hazard. Yet they pass legislation so that people can smoke marijuana in Illinois? Forget about marijuana’s ability to deaden your reaction time on the state highways and it’ s ability to reduce your use of good judgement when you do “anything”. Let’s just look at “one facet” of it’s legalization which is the increased likelihood of lung cancer and the many other cancers that will increase due to it’s use. Forget about the fact that now when you argue with someone, your reduced ability to render intelligent decisions might cause you to shoot or stab somebody over a road rage incident or any other domestic argument. Simply crazy legislation. The Republican elected officials who went along with this legalized marijuana legislation will be feeling the wrath of the people over 55 that make up their former base of support. Big mistake made by them. It will hurt their re-election chances come the next election.

  2. Once again I will ask. why would any young family choose Illinois in which to raise a family. Your daughters a can get abortions without parental notification, degenerate trans-perverts can jerk-off while watching your daughter shower in grade school or high school, the Government has no openly signaled that they see no detrimental effects of marijuana (the number one gateway drug) use, the Government has now stated that the rule of law does not matter and never has, via its mass expungement of criminal records, the State is on record not prosecuting fake hate crimes and plethora of criminal behavior.
    You children can now be taught by teacher’s who openly display tattoos, body piercings and are openly in same sex relationships. Your children are being taught that the nation that lost more soldiers in a war to free slaves than it lost in in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined is racist. You children are being taught that the country that elected a negro(who was widely speculated to be both Muslim and gay) to the office of President is racist.
    Most damming is the Illinois Government has stopped the citizens from performing their duty to society by keeping them from enforcing the mores and taboos of the endemic culture this nation’s greatness is predicated upon. Businesses are forced to hire people with criminal convictions because their records have been expunged. You are forced to hire illegal aliens who use other’s social security numbers because Illinois is a sanctuary state. You have to rent to illegal aliens and other criminals because you are not allowed to screen for desirable applicants. You have to hire a tattooed freak with a bone through her or his nose. You cannot give simple tests to perspective employees to determine their competency.
    While these things are not exclusively of Illinois, they are pervasive here. Last month I was looking for a a place to open a business and buy a potential home in SD, I took the liberty to attend classes in the local school system. There was a very stark contrast to what is taught in Illinois public schools and the business climate is owner friendly.
    IN summary if you want to raise you children with traditional American values or aspire to start you own business or forge your own path in this world, Illinois is not the place for you.