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Law Illinois MMJ

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Illinois considers legalizing marijuana for a fiscal boost

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Marijuana advocates are trying to lay the groundwork for Illinois to become the first state in the Midwest and the ninth nationwide to legalize recreational pot, arguing the move will help solve the state’s notorious budget crisis.

Two Illinois state lawmakers introduced legislation last week that would allow residents 21 and older to possess, grow or buy up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and license businesses to sell marijuana products subject to regulation. They say it would help fill Illinois’ multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 to $700 million in new tax revenue.

A national advocacy group, the Marijuana Policy Project, based the estimate on the proposal’s $50-per-ounce wholesale tax, Illinois’ standard sales tax, federal marijuana consumption data and recreational pot prices in Colorado. The proposal earmarks 50 percent of wholesale revenues for the state’s general fund and divides the remaining half 30/20 between education and public health.

Every state to legalize pot to date has done so by voter ballot initiative, according to Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst with the project. But Illinois advocates are not alone in holding out hope for lawmaker approval. Seventeen other states — including Missouri — are also considering legislative action.
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
Illinois hemp bill could increase access to medical marijuana products


By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A bill in the Illinois General Assembly that would allow hemp to be grown legally in the state could mark a major shift for medical marijuana growers if approved.

The pending legislation could help medical marijuana growers increase their relatively small pool of 25,000 certified users to the general public, Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois Chairman Ross Morreale told the Chicago Tribune.

Related stories
Advocates of the bill said it could also address a lack of regulation of hemp by subjecting the cannabis plant to the same testing for potency and pesticides as medical marijuana in Illinois.

The bill’s opponents are generally those who also oppose medical marijuana.

Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy adviser, is president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which opposes marijuana legalization. He said hemp is a minor concern, but he opposes state programs to legalize it, if it’s just a “stalking horse” for marijuana.

In the two years since medical marijuana appeared in Illinois, the hemp industry has thrived.

With medical marijuana, growers and dispensaries are heavily regulated, patients require a doctor’s prescription and a background check, and only those with certain approved medical conditions are granted access. But adults can buy and sell hemp-based products that include e-cigarettes and massage oils used to soothe ailments such as insomnia and inflammation.

While hemp is similar to marijuana, manufacturers say it has little or no THC, the component that gets users “stoned.”

According to the Hemp Business Journal, revenue from products containing hemp increased 30 percent to $262 million nationwide in 2016. It projected that figure to increase to more than $1 billion by 2020.
 

CybrGuy

Well-Known Member
In Illinois the driving force of most everything is the economy and the terrible deficit and debt the state "lives with". Anything revenue positive needs to be considered. If recreational cannabis can be taxed similarly to what other states are doing, Illinois could go a long way in dealing with their debt. Leaving all this guaranteed revenue on the table is ignorant and ridiculously short sighted.

But, then again, we ARE talking about government, so we shouldn't be surprised. Sadly a high percentage of those interested in being in government do it for the wrong reasons, which usually is what they can get out of it rather than how they can help people. One need only look at the White House...
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
One need only look at the White House...
Or any body of politicians of any party or stripe, IMO.

As for IL debt, I while I'm all militant for MJ legalization and don't mind paying some taxes, I really think that the best financial path forward for IL is to secede Chicago to Canada. The rest of you guys would be much better off, I think. LOL
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Maybe if we included all the Pizza they could eat...

Naaa, probably not even then.
By the way....nice cuttlefish. Super interesting animals :-)
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
What Happened to Illinois’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board?
Former members and one legislator say the group was quietly disbanded in a deal with Governor Bruce Rauner to keep the medical marijuana program alive.

Last spring, three advocates for the state’s medical marijuana program received a call from Democratic State Representative Lou Lang, the architect of Illinois’s medical cannabis pilot program.

Lang told the group, which included Leslie Mendoza Temple, Jim Champion, and Michael Fine—all members of the state’s now-defunct Medical Cannabis Advisory Board—that the governor had offered him a deal. In exchange for extending the program another three years and allowing two new conditions (post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness) to qualify patients for a medical marijuana card, the board must disband.

“We were sold out. We were the tradeoff—but a good tradeoff,” says Fine, one of the medical marijuana patients on the board and the husband of state representative Laura Fine. “We raised no stink [about it at the time] because the program was much more important than our positions on the board." But now he, Temple, Champion, and Lang are speaking out in hopes to expose what they see as the overly political way that medical cannabis matters have been handled in Illinois.

A spokesperson for Bruce Rauner did not comment on the group’s assertions that Rauner requested that the board be dissolved as a condition of signing the bill.

Though the board’s last meeting was in May 2016 and Senate Bill 10 passed the next month, MCAB was listed as an active body on the state’s website up until a couple weeks ago when Chicago reached out to the governor’s office to confirm that the group had indeed been disbanded.

Laurel Patrick, a spokesperson for Rauner’s administration, wrote in an email “as the board no longer exists, the website data you referenced was incorrect and has been updated.”

State law originally created the board to evaluate petitions to add new ailments to the program’s list of debilitating conditions. The time-intensive process involved reviewing hundreds of pages of documents, scientific evidence, and written and spoken testimony from petitioners and other advocates, then voting to recommend new conditions for the program.

“The [MCAB] was created with the intent to allow the medical marijuana program in Illinois to evolve,” says Bob Morgan, the state’s first director of the medical cannabis pilot program, who is now running for state representative. “And the concept that we would appoint medical experts to review developing research regarding the benefits of medical cannabis reflected the understanding that this law was not intended to be set in stone.”

The board, however, could only advise, and ended up not fulfilling its intended purpose, Morgan says. Nirav Shah, Illinois Department of Public Health director, had the ultimate authority to either approve or reject their recommendations. Despite often-unanimous decisions by the board, Shah rejected all recommendations from the MCAB during the two years the board existed.

Rauner’s spokesperson wrote that petitions are no longer reviewed by the MCAB and are instead sent to and reviewed by the director of the medical cannabis pilot program. “Upon review of accepted petitions, the director shall issue a final decision about whether or not the proposed condition is accepted,” she wrote.

Now that the MCAB no longer exists, Lang says “there is no practical mechanism to add conditions unless it’s through legislative action” or action by the courts. At least when the old board existed, he says, there were public hearings and petitioners could publicly state their arguments to add conditions. The media covered the board’s actions and the rejections from Shah were also publicized.

Temple, who practices family medicine in Glenview and served as chairwoman of MCAB, says that when she agreed to serve on the board, she had no idea how political the process would be. Like Fine and Champion, Temple says she quickly agreed to step off the board in exchange for the three-year extension on the program, a couple new conditions, as well as a new process to certify patients to receive a medical marijuana card that puts less pressure on doctors.

The concessions Lang received as part of a deal were good things, she says. But, the entire process made her feel as if this board had put in a lot of time and expert medical consideration for naught, because who and what conditions qualify for access to medical marijuana in Illinois is ultimately a political decision, she says.

Though Senate Bill 10 stated that a the board “shall be reconstituted… to examine debilitating conditions or diseases that would benefit from the medical use of cannabis; and to review new medical and scientific evidence pertaining to currently approved conditions,” in addition to releasing an annual report detailing its activities, according to Lang, no new board has been established. Temple says she applied through the state’s website (before it was updated) to serve on the new board and has heard nothing in response. Patrick did not respond to a question asking whether or not a new board had been appointed by Rauner.

The old board, which was made up of patients and medical professionals from various parts of the industry, including a medical ethicist, neurologist, pediatrician, pharmacist, oncologist, two nurses, and a primary care physician, recommended the state’s Department of Public Health director add at least a dozen new qualifying conditions to the program. Those conditions included autism, chronic pain syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, chronic pain due to trauma, chronic postoperative pain, intractable pain, migraines, and osteoarthritis. Temple says all recommendations made by the board to Shah were summarily rejected and several were rejected multiple times, a sentiment shared by Fine and Champion as well.

“We know who was directing the Department of Health to reject these conditions and his name is Bruce Rauner,” Lang says, adding that Shah told him that the director would not be “allowed” to add any additional conditions to the program, and that elected officials would have to pass legislation if they wanted to expand the list.

A spokesperson for Shah, Melaney Arnold, wrote in an email that the department rejected the board’s recommendations “after reviewing the record for each condition.” She added, “This included the petition itself, the relevant board testimony, and evidence discussed by the board. IDPH found a lack of persuasive evidence that individuals with the condition would benefit from the use of medical cannabis.”

Neither Arnold nor Patrick responded to a question asking whether the rejections were ordered by Rauner. Patrick also did not respond to questions asking whether Rauner generally supported the pilot program and if he was opposed to adding any more qualifying conditions it.

“We didn’t just rubberstamp conditions,” says Champion, a veteran and the state’s first medical marijuana patient. “It was a very distinguished board. I was honored to be on it.”

Temple says the board considered personal testimony and scientific evidence when making its decisions. She says she’s personally certified over 100 patients to receive medical marijuana cards and many of them have had success using the drug to treat their conditions. Though it’s not without its side effects, marijuana carries fewer risks than pharmaceutical opioids.

“I think we’ve done a lot of harm giving patients opioids for pain medication, and now look at where we’re at,” she says, referencing the country’s opioid epidemic. “We have to look at other ways to deal with chronic pain and medical cannabis has been a useful one.”

Both Champion and Fine, who lost his arm in a car accident seven years ago, say the drug has reduced or completely eliminated their reliance on opioids and as a result significantly improved the quality of their lives.

Champion, who says he suffers from fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis (both of which are qualifying conditions for a medical card in Illinois), in addition to osteoarthritis, says he’s long advocated for a medical marijuana program in the state and helped Lang and other legislators pass the pilot program, which was signed into law by Quinn and officially took effect in 2014.

“Everyone blames cannabis for being a gateway drug, but for me it was a gateway off drugs,” Champion says. “I used to take 59 pills a day to include methadone and morphine and Vicodin. I would take methadone every six hours and if I hurt in between I’d take morphine and/or Vicodin. Thanks to cannabis, I’ve been opiate-free since November 2014.”

Since the rejections were issued, seven lawsuits have been filed by petitioners against the state to add irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, post-operative chronic pain, polycystic kidney disease, autism, osteoarthritis and intractable pain to the pilot program’s list of debilitating conditions. A judge also ordered PTSD be added to the list, but the decision came after the condition was added as part of Senate Bill 10 as an alleged concession to Lang and medical marijuana advocates.

An attorney for the petitioners, Robert Bauerschmidt, says the suits are still pending, and that judges have reversed Shah’s rejections in several cases. He says the state’s attorney general’s office is now appealing those decisions. The attorney general’s office did not return a request for comment.

“I think at this point [Shah] has made it pretty obvious he’s just not going to approve anything ever and the courts would be warranted in going forward and ordering [those conditions] added to the list,” Bauerschmidt say.

Fine says he gets phone calls and emails from people asking him how to get their condition added to the list of debilitating conditions. “I say call the governor, email, whatever. Call a reporter,” he says. “I’m really angry in this regard. You have a lot of people out there needlessly suffering.”

Champion feels similarly. He helped pass the state’s original medical marijuana bill to ease the suffering of people who could benefit from medical marijuana. “My heart goes out to them. I want to scream and holler for them,” he says. “And it makes me furious that Rauner is just telling us all to bend over. I’m sorry. I wish there was more I could do. My hands are tied. Until we get another governor there is nothing I can do.”

I'd offer up another caustic and biting view of suck-ass politicians, but I'm despondent. Everywhere I look in our political system, all I see is self-serving and mendacity.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Blunt talk from Democrats about legalizing marijuana


A Pass-around Agenda?

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker wants to legalize marijuana as part of his crime-fighting plan, which he unveiled Thursday at the DuSable Museum of African American History.

“We don’t need more studies on this,” Pritzker said. “We need to act. Let’s legalize marijuana. Let’s regulate it to make it safe. Let’s tax it. Let’s reinvest in the hardest hit communities.”

And he’s not alone in a field of primary challengers. State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, is also on board with legalization, while businessman Chris Kennedy has been a bit more careful with his words, saying he supports decriminalizing marijuana but wants to see more studies done to understand the effects of legalizing the drug.

Either way, victory by any one of those Democratic candidates could mean some big changes for Illinois. A key sponsor of legislation to legalize marijuana said it will be a “longterm” process — meaning proponents would be unlikely to attempt passage until 2019 — when Democrats hope Illinois will see a new governor to replace Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Legalization essentially means adults won’t be arrested, fined or otherwise penalized for recreational marijuana use or possession. Decriminalization is less sweeping. It generally means violators will not be subjected to criminal prosecutions for smaller amounts, often treating it as a civil offense, punishable only by fines — not jail time.


Alaska Cannabis Club CEO Charlo Greene smokes a joint at the medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2015. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Rauner’s campaign on Thursday wouldn’t comment on his thoughts on legalizing marijuana. But in April, the governor called recreational marijuana “a very, very difficult subject.” He said he wouldn’t support legalizing marijuana unless there’s a study of the “ramifications” in states that have legalized the drug.

But Rauner last year signed a bill that decriminalized the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, making it a ticketable offense subject to fines of $100 to $200.

State Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, in January introduced legislation that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana — using the money as a new revenue source for the state. It would legalize the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and would allow facilities to sell marijuana products.

Steans said she plans to hold another hearing about the legislation on Nov. 28.

“Really right now we’re trying to get as much input as we can so that in the next session we can put out a new draft of the legislation to do hearings. In January we’ll do another public health hearing about this,” Steans said on Thursday. “We think this is a long-term process. … I’m not sure whether we’re likely to get his signature but you know. Whether it’s him or whomever else, we’re going to push it.”

Steans — who has endorsed Pritzker for governor — noted an election year “isn’t the time” to push for legalizing marijuana: “In 2019, we’ll hopefully be in position.”

Pritzker has made legalization part of his crime-fighting plan.

“We need to legalize marijuana in Illinois,” Pritzker said to some applause Thursday. “Criminalization of marijuana doesn’t make our communities safe. It has disproportionately impacted brown and black communities. There are way too many people, and I mean way too many people, who have gone to prison or are currently sitting in prison for having small amounts of marijuana.”

Biss, too, wants to legalize and regulate marijuana, which he says will increase tax revenue, reduce law enforcement costs and bring jobs to the state. He’s also argued current marijuana laws disproportionately target African Americans despite similar rates of use between white and black Americans. He was added as a co-sponsor to Steans’ bill in April.


(From left) Illinois gubernatorial candidates J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, State Sen. Daniel Biss and Tio Hardiman during the Progressive Gubernatorial Forum on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. File Photo. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

In a candidate questionnaire provided by the Kennedy campaign, Kennedy wrote that he supports expanding access to alternative pain treatments, including broadening access to medical marijuana under the guidance of medical professionals while also pushing for “holistics therapy practices” across hospitals.

Kennedy’s official stance on marijuana is that he wants it “available to the extent that reputable scientists and medical professional advise,” while also pushing not to prosecute and overcrowd jails because of “possession of a modest amount of marijuana.”

Kennedy believes legalizing marijuana should be separated from the issue of using taxes as a revenue stream to fund state government, according to his website.

And he wants more studies on the impact of legalizing marijuana.

“If the medical and scientific evidence supports the legalization of marijuana, then Illinois should legalize marijuana, whether it is helpful to the state budget or not. This decision should be taken on its own merit and not made in the fog of political conflict over paying for state government,” the campaign says on its website.

A campaign spokesman on Thursday said Kennedy has reached out to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to talk about lessons the state has learned. Problems included children accessing marijuana edibles. The campaign said Kennedy wants to make sure to evaluate legalization fully with medical and scientific experts, and then take their recommendations.

The Illinois Chiefs of Police Association opposes legalization.

In a 2017 study commissioned by Rauner and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, about 80 percent of police chiefs and county sheriffs responding to the report said marijuana was highly available within their areas. But just under five percent of respondents said marijuana was the greatest drug threat, “which may be a result of state law changes and changing views of marijuana as a threat,” the report said.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Will Illinois be the next state to legalize marijuana?


Will Illinois be the next state to legalize marijuana? A proposed primary ballot referendum seems to indicate that there is a distinct possibility that it will be. And since Illinois already has a medical marijuana program and has decriminalized cannabis, the possibility isn’t so far-fetched.

The Pot Proposal

In March, voters in Cook County, Illinois might see a referendum on their primary election ballots. County Commissioners John Fritchey and Luis Arroyo have expressed interest in the possibility of legalized recreational weed. But they’re not just interested in legalizing cannabis in Cook County. They want to legalize it throughout the entire state of Illinois.

In a statement to CBS Chicago, Commissioner Fritchey said that the legalization of recreational cannabis would rake in an estimated $500 million for the state of Illinois in tax revenue. That sounds about right. After all, the first month of recreational weed sales in Nevada earned about $3.7 million in tax revenue. The numbers speak for themselves. In Colorado and Oregon, taxes from recreational cannabis sales are substantial as well. And the revenue from those taxes is going toward programs that improve the lives of state residents.

Financial gain aside, there is another pressing reason for legalizing recreational cannabis in the state of Illinois.

In 2016, state lawmakers decriminalized weed. So currently, if a police officer discovers that you are in possession of the herb, you will only need to pay a fine of $100-$200. That is if you only had under 10 grams at the time of the arrest.

But the problem with that is that those who pay a fine for weed possession will still have an arrest record. An arrest record for drug possession, even if the drug is cannabis, will follow you. It can—and often does—negatively impact your job prospects and chances of getting a loan. Additionally, the current system congests the courts and wastes the time and resources of police officers and court officials, who could be using that time to prevent and prosecute violent crime.

The Cannabis Commissioners



It wouldn’t be enough to keep their bid to legalize recreational weed local to their hometown of Chicago.

Rather than limiting their scope, Fritchey and Arroyo are taking it statewide. Well, kind of.

They have proposed a referendum on the matter—whether or not Illinois should legalize recreational weed—for the primary election in Cook County. The reefer referendum will specify that the minimum age for legal recreational cannabis consumption will be 21 years old.

In Cook County, recent polls indicate that the majority of county residents are in favor of recreational cannabis legalization. It’s worth noting that in Illinois, there is already a medical marijuana program. Fritchey actually acted as a co-sponsor of the bill that led to Illinois’ medical program. He was also instrumental in the removal of jail time for small possession charges.

Final Hit: Will Illinois Be The Next State To Legalize Marijuana?



Commissioners John Fritchey and Luis Arroyo will propose the referendum to the Cook County Board sometime in the next week. If the Board approves the proposal, then the reefer referendum will appear on the primary ballot in March.

So will Illinois be the next state to legalize marijuana? The verdict on that is still out. But we remain hopeful.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"The latest polls show that 66 percent of Illinois residents are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana."

And he knows it but is going to ignore the tenets of democracy, ignore that he represents his constituents and is not their daddy, and will do what he wants? 86 this shithead now.



Illinois Governor Not Likely To Allow Marijuana Legalization

Even though we have an Illinois governor not likely to allow marijuana legalization, is there still hope for the Prairie State?


Although cannabis advocates predict that Illinois will be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana, the problem of an Illinois governor not likely to allow marijuana legalization puts a giant snag in the legislative grind. This will probably prevent pot reform from happening in 2018 in Illinois.


A Governor Against Ganja

Chicago Tonight

The head honcho with the power to sign a bill into law or bury it is Governor Bruce Rauner. He recently told a Marion television station that pulling Illinois out of the pits of prohibition would be a “mistake.”

Instead of taking a leap toward a legitimate market, the governor says he would like to see officials conduct additional research to pinpoint any consequences that may come from passing a law of this magnitude.

“I do not support legalizing marijuana. I think that’s a mistake. You know there’s a massive, human experiment going on in Colorado, and California, other places. We should see how that’s impacted lives and addiction and hurt young people before we make any decision about it here,” Rauner told ABC-affiliate WSIL-TV. “I do not support legalizing marijuana.”

Up to this point, Governor Rauner has not directly said that he wouldn’t support a legalization bill. In fact, when confronted with the issue over the past few months, he has given every indication that he would consider a marijuana bill if it landed on his desk.

But Rauner has been adamant all along about wanting to see some data pertaining the potential “ramifications” connected to legalization.


Earlier this year, he said that he would not sign a recreational marijuana bill until he had the opportunity to review of a study of this kind.

Pot In The Prairie State?
We have watched Rauner tiptoe around the subject of marijuana reform for the past few years—especially in respect to the state’s medical marijuana pilot program. It seems he always wants to see studies before taking a chance on something that has proven successful all over the nation.

Sadly, no comprehensive study has made its way to the governor’s office.

And this lack of peer-reviewed gold is crippling the chances of a recreational pot bill being passed in the next legislative session. As a result, we have an Illinois governor not likely to allow marijuana legalization. But Rauner is on borrowed time, giving pot supporters hope for 2019.


We’ve seen this in other states.

In New Jersey, for example, the governor is dead set against marijuana for recreational use. But lawmakers have their fingers crossed that the next governor will lend their full support to the cause.

Right now, Illinois’ two Democratic gubernatorial candidates (J.B. Pritzker and State Senator Daniel Biss) have expressed enthusiasm for allowing pot to be sold in retail dispensaries in a manner similar to beer.

The Republican candidate, Chris Kennedy, has only come out to say that he would support marijuana decriminalization. But Rauner already made that happen in 2015.

State lawmakers are currently discussing a bill designed to open the doors to the cannabis industry. But state Senator Heather Steans has little faith the bill will go the distance in the coming months.

Although she is one of the primary supporters of the legislation, Steans believes 2019 is more realistic.

Final Hit: Illinois Governor Not Likely To Allow Marijuana Legalization
Some of the latest statistics indicate that bringing marijuana out of the black market might be a way for the state to reconcile its multibillion-dollar budget deficit. The number shows the state could enjoy up to $700 million in annual tax revenue. Yet, there are still lawmakers who worry the financial gain would not be worth the risk to public safety. Some law enforcement officers have the same apprehension.

There is also some concern right now regarding President Trump. Specifically, how his Department of Justice will eventually decide to handle legal weed.

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he still feels “marijuana is detrimental, and we should not give encouragement in any way to it.” He told reporters during a press briefing that the DOJ was looking “very hard right now” at the previous administration’s pot policies that have allowed states to experiment with legalization without much federal interference.

It has almost been a full year since Sessions assumed the role of attorney general. And, so far, nothing in the realm of a federal crackdown has transpired. Some state lawmakers truly worried about this threat earlier in the year, but most now seem to be more relaxed.

The latest polls show that 66 percent of Illinois residents are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Unfortunately, they must recognize the reality of an Illinois governor not likely to allow marijuana legalization. So it looks as though it could be a couple of years before they get it.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
"The latest polls show that 66 percent of Illinois residents are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana."

And he knows it but is going to ignore the tenets of democracy, ignore that he represents his constituents and is not their daddy, and will do what he wants? 86 this shithead now.
We've discussed multiple times.... what's with these politicians who think that their opinion is the governing rule when they've been elected to uphold the will of the people? Especially when that will of the people is the exact opposite of their opinion? Which speaks to how the fuck did they get elected in the first place? Either the people weren't listening or they were lied to....... :watchout:
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Judge orders Illinois to expand medical marijuana qualifying conditions to include pain


A judge has ordered Illinois officials to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, a ruling that could greatly expand access to the drug.

The Illinois Department of Public Health had rejected intractable pain — defined as pain that’s resistant to treatment — but Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell ordered the agency to add the condition.

A health department spokeswoman said Tuesday the agency will appeal the ruling. The change is expected to be put on hold while the appeal is pursued.

Ann Mednick, whose lawsuit resulted in the ruling, said she has taken opioid pills to cope with extreme pain caused by osteoarthritis but wants a treatment with fewer side effects that would allow her to be more functional. Rheumatoid arthritis is on the list of about 40 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, but osteoarthritis is not, nor is general or chronic pain.

“Illinois is years behind the times,” the Rolling Meadows woman said. “The state needs to get (it) together.”

Mednick had previously petitioned the state to put intractable pain on the marijuana treatment access list, and the now-defunct Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board agreed it should be on the list, voting 10-0 to recommend adding the condition.

But the health department’s director, Dr. Nirav Shah, denied the recommendation in January 2016, citing a “lack of high-quality data” from clinical trials to establish that the benefits outweighed the risks.

Mednick challenged the denial in court, and Shah agreed to review his decision. But last March, the director again rejected the petition.

The judge in his Friday ruling found that Shah’s decision was “clearly erroneous,” noting that the director said the condition was not listed in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD, by the World Health Organization, and was not recognized as a unique medical condition.

But the advisory board cited ICD codes that did recognize the condition as a form of chronic pain, the judge wrote in his opinion.

The request to add intractable pain cited papers by two medical journals that together reviewed 45 clinical studies of marijuana to treat chronic pain.

“The record shows that individuals with intractable pain would benefit from the medical use of cannabis,” the judge wrote, adding that the studies found that adverse effects generally were not serious and were well-tolerated.

The director’s decision misstates the advisory board’s analysis and “contorts” the record to minimize the evidence supporting the petition, the judge wrote.

The judge ordered Shah to add the condition to the list of 40 or so qualifying medical conditions but did not specify when the director must do so.

The health department spokeswoman declined comment other than to say the ruling will be appealed.

Pain accounts for the majority of medical marijuana patients in states that allow it as a qualifying condition.

The possibility that marijuana could be a viable substitute for highly addictive opioid painkillers has also prompted a proposed change in Illinois law: State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, has submitted a bill that would allow medical marijuana to be given for any medical condition in place of prescription painkillers. He expects action on the proposal in the spring legislative session, scheduled to start Jan. 30.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Do you favor legalizing marijuana? Then here’s whom to vote for.


Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article195560419.html#storylink=cpy

As state legislators consider whether Illinois should be the next state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, they most likely would need a governor who supports the idea.

The eight candidates running for governor are mostly divided along party lines, with the Democrats generally in favor of the idea and Republicans against legalizing the drug beyond the state’s current medical marijuana program.

In addition to the state’s medical marijuana program, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana also has been decriminalized in Illinois as people can receive fines of $100 or $200 if caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, instead of being sent to jail.

Illinois legislators late last year had hearings on the legalization of recreational marijuana and whether the state should join the seven states and District of Columbia that have given the OK for recreational use of the substance.

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The debate comes as the Justice Department has lifted an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will now leave it up to federal prosecutors around the country to decide what to do when state rules are in conflict with federal drug laws.

Donald Boyce, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, has declined to say what he will do, referring questions back to the Justice Department.

A poll last year by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale found 66 percent of respondents said they supported legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol.


Gov. Bruce Rauner
Derik Holtmann dholtmann@bnd.com
Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is seeking re-election, is opposed to legalizing marijuana.

“I think marijuana is a large experiment right now. It’s an experiment on the youth of America,” Rauner said. “Colorado is experimenting, California is experimenting, a few other states. What’s prudent is we watch and see how much impact it has. How much does addiction change? How young people’s brains are impacted?”

Jeanne Ives, a Repub;lican state representative from Wheaton who is running against Rauner in the March 20 primary, also is against legalization of marijuana, said Kathleen Murphy, a campaign spokeswoman.

Ives cited a study from Colorado that said marijuana‐related traffic deaths increased 48 percent, and said there was an increase in youth marijuana use.

“This is the wrong way to solve our budget problems,” Murphy said.

I think marijuana is a large experiment right now. It’s an experiment on the youth of America. Colorado is experimenting, California is experimenting, a few other states. What’s prudent is we watch and see how much impact it has.

Gov. Bruce Rauner

Democrats seeking the governor’s office, on the other hand, are generally in favor of the idea.

State Sen. Daniel Biss has been a supporter of marijuana legalization since before running for governor, said Tom Elliott, communications director for the campaign.

Elliott said the Democratic candidate’s view is legalization is part of criminal justice reform as the rate of minorities in prison for marijuana possession is higher than for white people.

“It’s an outdated policy,” Elliott said. “He (Biss) wants to end the war on drugs. Revenue we would get from taxing marijuana should toward drug abuse treatment policies.”

Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, said he believes marijuana should be publicly available, but only as far as scientists and medical professional advise, according to his website.

During a Chicago Sun-Times gubernatorial candidate forum, Kennedy said that recommendations for legalization should come through a process guided by an organization such as the University Illinois.

“Chris further believes that the issue of legalizing marijuana should be separated from the issue of using taxes as a revenue stream to fund state government,” his website says.


Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, left.
File photo
Billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker, who said the state can legalize marijuana in a safe way while bringing in increased revenue, also discussed the criminal justice reform aspect that legalization would bring.

“Criminalizing marijuana hasn’t made our communities safer. What it’s done is disproportionately impacted black and brown communities,” Pritzker said in a campaign statement. “The criminalization of cannabis never has been and never will be enforced fairly, and it’s time to bring that to an end.”

Madison County Regional Office of Education Superintendent Bob Daiber, a Democrat and the only downstate candidate seeking the governor’s mansion, said he supports legislation, but it would need support from the state’s voters.

I think those revenue projections are always hypothetical. I think there’s some disappointment in the current legalization of the medical marijuana that it’s not bringing in what people thought it would.”

Madison County Regional Office of Education Superintendent Bob Daiber

“I have asked for there to be a vote,” Daiber said. “I don’t care if it’s a nonbinding referendum vote. But there needs to be a vote and the people have to pass it.”

Daiber said he would follow the leads of California and Colorado and follow their policies closely in setting up a program for how to sell and tax it.

Daiber said he hasn’t done any revenue projections on legalization.


Madison County Regional Superintendant of Schools Robert A Daiber, left.
Steve Nagy snagy@bnd.com
“I think those revenue projections are always hypothetical. I think there’s some disappointment in the current legalization of medical marijuana in that it’s not bringing in what people thought it would,” Daiber said. “I don’t anticipate high hopes for revenue until we see what that ... would look like.”

Robert Marshall, who is a doctor in the Chicago suburbs, also said he supports legalization of marijuana. It’s a stance he took when he previously ran for Congress in 2016.

Tio Hardiman, a Chicago violence prevention advocate, said money from legalizing marijuana, along with a proposed “LaSalle Street tax” on financial transactions and a progressive income tax, all would bring in needed revenue.

“We also support legalizing small amounts of marijuana which could bring in a few billions of dollars. We could use those funds to help grow the economy here in the state of Illinois,” Hardiman said during the Sun-Times forum.

Rauner said marijuana has changed dramatically over the years.

“It’s not what it used to be 20, 30, 40 years ago. It’s a very potent, very dangerous drug. I think we should watch, take our time, and not rush into changes that could impact the quality of life for many Illinoisans,” the governor said.


Uniting States of Marijuana: The country's evolving laws on cannabis
Results from the 2016 election brought about new rules on the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana in several states, with more than half now allowing for the later. Federal government leaders including president-elect Trump have voiced their opinion on the changing state of mind around marijuana. Is this the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition?
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member


Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Ballot Question


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois voters would be able to say whether they support legalizing recreational marijuana under a proposal lawmakers have approved.


Senators voted 37-13 Thursday to put a non-binding question on the November ballot. Chicago Democratic Sen. Bill Cunningham is the sponsor. He says the referendum question will act as a statewide opinion poll.

The proposal now goes to the House for vote. To make it to the ballot, it needs Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature. The governor calls the effort misguided and legalization a mistake.

Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana last year. The Chicago Democrats previously said they do not expect the measure to be debated this session.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Well, you 64% people....you need to vote Rauner out of office...that would be a start in seeing your will enacted into policy...you know, via democracy?? sigh

Poll shows 84 percent think Illinois is on wrong track; 66 percent want legal weed
More than 80 percent of Illinois residents believe the state is on the wrong track, according to a new poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

The same poll, which surveyed 1,001 registered voters in Illinois, found that two-thirds of respondents support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

With the state in a gubernatorial election year, a total of 84 percent said the state is off-track and heading in the wrong direction for the state of Illinois, while only 9 percent chose the right-direction option.

The poll also found that 27 percent of respondents said the country is on the right track, while 64 percent said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

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“Voters have been more negative about the state of Illinois than the rest of the country since the inception of our poll in 2008,” said Charlie Leonard, a Simon Institute visiting professor and one of the designers of the poll. “It is notable that the state ratings are still 20 percentage points more negative than the national ratings and there is an 18 percent gap between Illinois and the nation on the ‘right direction’ option.”


Two-thirds (66 percent) of Illinois voters said they favored legalizing marijuana for recreational use, compared to nearly one-third (32 percent) who opposed legalizing marijuana. Downstate voters favored legalization by 58 percent to 40 percent.

Voters in November may be voting on an advisory referendum on whether they want to see marijuana legali,zed as the state Senate has advanced a measure that would put an advisory question on the November ballot. It still needs approval from the state House and the governor's signature.

Illinois has a medical marijuana program and has decriminalized possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. People can receive fines of $100 or $200 if caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, instead of being sent to jail.


Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article203697284.html#storylink=cpy
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Well IL folks, here is your voting guide on MJ issues.

Where do Illinois governor candidates stand on marijuana?

The state's primary is March 20. There are five candidates on the Democratic ballot, and two Republicans fighting for the nomination.


By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Democratic candidates for governor say it’s time for the state to legalize recreational marijuana, while Republican candidates oppose the idea.

Nine states and Washington, D.C, have already legalized recreational marijuana. Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor say it’s time the state follow suit, arguing the move would bring in needed revenue and would be a major step toward criminal justice reform.

The candidates in the March 20 primary are Sen. Daniel Biss, businessman Chris Kennedy, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, educator Bob Daiber, activist Tio Hardiman and physician Robert Marshall.

On the other side, the two GOP primary candidates have opposed legalization and raised questions on the future of Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program, which is set to expire in 2020.

Gov. Bruce Rauner implemented the pilot program in 2015, but he has recently fought in court attempts to expand the list of qualifying conditions. He is against legalization for recreational purposes.

His primary competitor, Rep. Jeanne Ives, has consistently railed against any type of legalization.

Here’s a look at where the candidates stand:



RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA


While all Democratic candidates favor legalizing recreational marijuana, there are some debates about how the process should take place.

The perceived front runners — Pritzker, Biss and Kennedy — all favor legalization, arguing it would bring more tax revenue into a state with nearly $9 billion in unpaid bills.

They also say it would help Illinois’ overcrowded prison problem and fight what they see as racial disparities in sentencing and arrests.

Related stories
Illinois was considered to be one of the top 12 states with the most arrests for marijuana possession, according to the American Civil Liberties Union’s most recent analysis in 2010. While African-Americans made up 15 percent of the population at the time, they accounted for 58 percent of marijuana-related arrests.

“We must review and commute the sentences of people incarcerated for marijuana offenses in Illinois,” said Pritzker, a Chicago entrepreneur. “It’s time to bring the era of mass incarcerations for minor drug offenses to an end.”

Kennedy, of Kenilworth, echoed the sentiment and said he would commute sentences on a case-by-case basis for non-violent offenders solely convicted of possession or sale of the drug. He also wants the University of Illinois to oversee legalization, saying the school would act as a third-party not “looking to profit off of a public health decision” like lobbyists in Springfield.

Biss said he would go one step further. The lawmaker said he would commute sentences en masse, following the model of San Francisco, where prosecutors threw out thousands of marijuana-related convictions dating back to 1975 with no action needed from those convicted.

“I’m committed to a criminal justice agenda that focuses on rehabilitation and community investment rather than mass incarceration — and we must make sure that no one gets left behind,” said the Evanston lawmaker.

Marshall, a Burr Ridge physician, and Daiber, a regional schools superintendent from Marine, are both favorable to legalization, but Daiber stipulates the initiative must be passed by the voters.

Chicago activist Hardiman favors decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing only “small amounts” for recreational purposes.

On the Republican side, Rauner and Ives both oppose legalization, saying there may be detrimental effects in states where recreational use is permitted.

“I do not support legalizing marijuana. I think that’s a mistake,” said the governor. “You know there’s a massive human experiment going on in Colorado and California and other places. We should see how that’s impacting lives and addiction and hurting young people before we make any decision about it here.”

Rauner signed legislation in 2016 making possessing small amounts of marijuana a civil offense, saying prosecuting “these minor cases” is a “drain on taxpayer dollars.”

But he said he would “have to carefully consider the consequences of any further legislation” before deciding to expand decriminalization.

Ives, of Wheaton, did not respond to The Associated Press request for comment but previously told the State-Journal Register that she opposes legalization, saying it “is the wrong way to solve our budget problems.”



MEDICAL MARIJUANA


The state’s medical marijuana program, one of the most restrictive in the country, has largely taken a back seat in the race.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn signed the pilot program into law in 2013, but it wasn’t implemented until 2015.
Rauner has been both friend and foe to the medical marijuana industry, adding two qualifying conditions to the list in 2016 but resisting further expansion.

Related stories
To qualify for a medical card, a person must have a “debilitating condition” such as cancer, HIV/AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease. Illinois added PTSD and terminal illness to the list of qualifying conditions in 2016.

The Rauner administration is appealing a Cook County Circuit judge’s order that the state expand the list to include intractable pain, or pain that’s resistant to treatment.

The governor didn’t say whether he would continue the program beyond its 2020 expiration date.

Dan Linn, executive director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws in Illinois, said “it’s possible” Rauner could end the program. But he said Rauner likely wouldn’t take that action because the industry is responsible for 1,500 jobs and caters to 30,000 patients across the state.

Ives has opposed legalization in any form and voted against the pilot program in 2013.

Pritzker, Biss and Kennedy all want to make the pilot program permanent and expand the list of qualifying conditions.

Only Biss specifically detailed how he would expand the list, saying he would model Illinois’ program on California’s, “allowing cannabis to be prescribed to any debilitating illness a physician sees fit.”

He adds he will “also reduce licensing fees, streamline regulations, and expand access by making sure there are doctors in every community who will prescribe medical cannabis.”

Hardiman said he would make the pilot program permanent, but wouldn’t make any further changes. Daiber has said he would loosen restrictions under the program, but added that if marijuana is legalized, it would remove the necessity of a medical program.

Marshall did not return the AP request for comment, though he has previously said he supports legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing drugs such as cocaine and morphine.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
It continues to blow my mind that these politicians of ours, elected in a democracy, just don't get that the electorate doesn't give a shit what the politicians want, but they very much want and expect their politicians to give a shit about what the electorate wants.... and in this case:

"According to a poll from the Southern Illinois University, 74.4 percent of Illinois citizens support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Only 21 percent oppose the measure."


Illinois governor vows to veto all recreational marijuana legislation


In a recent interview with the Ford County Record, a newspaper in Paxton, Illinois, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner said that he would veto a recreational marijuana bill if one were to be passed by the Legislature. Rauner has served as the Governor of Illinois since January of 2015.

Currently, the state of Illinois is ramping up for a gubernatorial election, with primary elections taking place on March 20th and the general election on November 6th. Rauner has announced that he will be running for re-election, and will go head-to-head with Representative Jeanne Ives for the Republican primary.

Both Republican candidates have opposed recreational marijuana legalization in the past. All of the Democratic candidates, on the other hand, support the recreational legalization of marijuana. The Democratic candidates include: Senator Daniel Biss, businessman and Kennedy family member Chris Kennedy, Billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, public official and regional school superintendent Bob Daiber, criminal justice professor Tio Hardiman, and physician Robert Marshall.

“Medical marijuana was approved before I became governor…I think there are some appropriate medical uses for that and we’re monitoring it,” said Rauner in his interview with the Ford County Record. “Recreational marijuana, just for personal use, I think is a huge experiment. We don’t know. And the drug has changed—marijuana has changed a tremendous amount over the last 30-40 years. It’s very, very potent. We don’t know how it impacts the developing brain. We don’t know what it does to pregnant women. We don’t know a lot of things.”



Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner speaks to members of the media in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after a hearing on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The court is hearing the case, Janus v. AFSCME, to determine whether states violate their employees’ First Amendment rights to require them to join public sector unions which they may not want to associate with.

The Democratic candidates challenging Rauner argue that legalizing recreational marijuana would make economic sense, yielding tax revenue and helping alleviate the state’s $9 billion in unpaid bills.

In Colorado, where recreational marijuana is currently legal for adult use, the industry produced over $506 million in taxes and fees for the state between 2014 and July of 2017.

Democratic candidates, like Pritzker and Kennedy, have also expressed a desire to commute sentences for those who are currently incarcerated on marijuana charges. According to the most recent analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2010, Illinois is among the top 12 states with the highest rates of arrest for marijuana possession.

The state also has one of the strictest medical marijuana programs. Former governor Pat Quinn implemented a pilot program for medical marijuana, but it didn’t go into effect until Rauner assumed office in 2015. It’s set to expire in 2020. The only patients eligible for cards are those with “debilitating conditions” such as HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

A referendum to ask Illinois voters if they support recreational marijuana on the November ballot is currently moving through the state’s legislature. If it gets on the ballot, it won’t make recreational marijuana legal in the state, but it could put pressure on lawmakers to legalize it themselves. According to a poll from the Southern Illinois University, 74.4 percent of Illinois citizens support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Only 21 percent oppose the measure.
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
March 20th 2018 Huge for Legal Pot in Illinois - 967 The Eagle
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Cook County voters want to legalize recreational marijuana | WGN-TV
49 minutes ago · CHICAGO -- Voters in the Illinois county that includes Chicago have backed the recreational use of marijuana in a nonbinding referendum. The question for Cook County voters asked if Illinois ...
 

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