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Legalizing Weed: 4 Quotes From Lawmakers After Medical Marijuana Became Legal in Illinois

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 04:36 PM

Medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois since the beginning of 2014, making it the 20th state in the country to approve its use for medical conditions. Despite the law being passed, the implementation has experienced numerous delays as the government attempts to get its ducks in a row regarding regulation of weed.

In the meantime, two other bills have been introduced in the legislature aimed at decriminalizing possession and making weed legal altogether, according to The Weed Blog.

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Medical marijuana patients must jump through a number of hoops in order to fall in line with state requirements. Regulations include fingerprinting, a background check, a special photo identification card, and payment of a $150 fee, NBC Chicago reported.

Lawmakers have been very vocal in regards to their thoughts on the legality of medical marijuana in Illinois. Here’s what they are saying:

1. The medical marijuana pilot program was designed to take four years to get the program fully functional, but has fallen behind in implementation, according to the Journal Standard.

Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, said, “It was supposed to be a four-year pilot program, but because it’s taken over a year and a half to put the program together, there’s less than two-and-a-half years in the pilot by the time the first patient gets the first brownie.”

2. Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, would like to see marijuana laws downgraded to alleviate the state’s prison population problem, the Journal Standard reported.

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“It’s about making the penalties fair for everyone, and it’s about putting our criminal justice resources to better use – going after the people who are dealing and bringing violence into the communities,” she said.

3. Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, noted he would like the laws to reflect decriminalization in an effort to stop police from tying up court time, including in cases of medical marijuana, according to the Journal Standard.

“I’m not trying to foster a market of marijuana,” he said. “I don’t want to encourage people to use the substance, but at the same time I think we have to make a decision here regarding the efficient and prudent use of law enforcement dollars.”

4. Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D- Chicago, advocates for putting recreational marijuana on an even playing field with medical marijuana, the blog Red Eye Chicago reported.

“Where we are as a state in terms of our resources and our revenue and the pressures on our criminal justice system, this is what we need to do today, and really this is about creating a statewide standard," she said.

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Medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois since the beginning of 2014, making it the 20th state in the country to approve its use for medical conditions.
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Monday, 18 May 2015 04:36 PM
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