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Where do the candidates stand on marijuana?

Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017

* We already know where Gov. Rauner stands on legalizing marijuana. He doesn’t like the idea. At all.

But I wanted to know where the Democratic candidates stood on the issue, so I reached out to the campaigns yesterday.

* Ameya Pawar has already made it clear (click here) that he supports full legalization. This is from Sen. Daniel Biss…

Thumbs up on the Cassidy-Steans bill. It’s the right criminal justice policy, it’s right from the point of view of fairness, and it’s right for the state’s bottom line.

He’s not yet a co-sponsor of Sen. Steans’ bill, but he’ll be voting for it if it ever reaches the floor.

By the way, this is a great issue to help candidates raise small-dollar grassroots contributions from legalization proponents, not only in Illinois, but across the country.

* From the Chris Kennedy campaign…

Chris supports decriminalizing marijuana in Illinois. He believes we should not be prosecuting and crowding our jails over simple possession of marijuana. He is reviewing studies done on the effects of legalization in other states before determining if legalization would be right for Illinois.

* Bob Daiber campaign…

Dr. Daiber is strongly in favor of medicinal marijuana in Illinois.

As this current time, he is still researching the legalization of marijuana recreationally and cannot weigh in on one side or the other.

He does say he is in favor of a ballot initiative to allow voters to legalize marijuana of their own free will, similar to what had occurred in Colorado and Washington.

When I pointed out that we don’t have binding initiatives in Illinois, I received this response…

Daiber feels that even though it would be non-binding, he would base his decision to pass legislation legalizing recreational marijuana based on the will of the people.

* I haven’t yet heard back from the Kurt Summers people, but I might’ve used the wrong e-mail address. I’ll let you know what he says.

Also, JB Pritzker hasn’t yet answered any policy questions ahead of his possible announcement and it was clear yesterday that the campaign didn’t want to establish a new precedent when I asked for his position.

* Related…

* Illinois Policy Institute News Service: Meet Democratic candidates for Illinois governor

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - LizPhairTax - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Daiber is Sean Landetta on this one. If you’re going to punt, make sure that you get the ball downfield.

    Come on school guy. Do your homework. Campaign for governor in a state this cash strapped and you didn’t think this was a question you should be prepared to answer?

  2. - Homer J. Quinn - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    kennedy and daiber just lost my vote. if they can’t do the right thing when 66% of the public wants it, they can’t do it at all and they need to get out of the way.

  3. - Hank the Crank - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    Chris Kennedy needs to consult with his cousin former Rep. Patrick Kennedy on this issue. Patrick has his own story of addiction and recovery and is opposed to legalization.

  4. - LizPhairTax - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    If you’re scoring at home:

    Pawar and Biss are cool.

    CGK and Bob probably want to be cool but also kind of want to be safe about it so they’re pretending to “study” the issue.

    JB doesn’t want to say anything that will harsh his ego-stroke, I’m going to jump in and save this state, BS nonpaign.

    BVR. Not cool.

  5. - Homer J. Quinn - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    the time for democratic candidates trying to sit on the fence - on any issue - ended november 8th of last year. not taking a stand in the race is the fastest way to show us you won’t take a stand when you’re in office, and nobody’s voting for that anymore.

  6. - The 647 - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Agreed Kennedy and Daiber no longer have a chance for my vote. We need an advocate who will fight for this issue in the governor’s mansion and if you are still studying it now, it will never be a priority.

  7. - BuckinIrish - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    Did I miss when Rich declared weed the theme for Capfax this week? I love it.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    “Thumbs up on the Cassidy-Steans bill. It’s the right criminal justice policy, it’s right from the point of view of fairness, and it’s right for the state’s bottom line.”

    Sen. Biss nails it. This is very appealing to me. Glad Ald. Pawar supports it also.

  9. - Homer J. Quinn - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    from a populist standpoint this is the biggest, easiest homerun issue in their platform. if they can’t fight for something so popular, how can they fight for anything?

  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government will introduce legislation the week of April 10 to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018, according to a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
    ~Bloomberg 3/28/17

  11. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    I know several people who’s lives were ruined by booze, opioids, gambling, and the War on Drugs.

    I also know literally scores of marijuana users, but I don’t know anyone who’s life was ruined by their marijuana use.

    I’m sure someone somewhere somehow wrecked his life with jazz cigarettes, but I’m also sure that vanishingly rare exceptions are a terrible basis for public policy.

    – MrJM

  12. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    Props to Biss for not only being substantively correct, but actually talking like a human while doing so.

  13. - Mama - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    Instead of waiting for the voters to weigh in on legalizing marijuana during the 2018 election, conduct a poll now. If it polls well across the state, I think Rauner will sign the bill to legalize marijuana, but what do I know…

  14. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    This issue may drive up turnout and help put the Democrat over the top. It could bring out a lot of younger voters.

    What threatens this is the Trump administration and AG Sessions. Many are waiting to see, in great fear, what the Feds will do in regards to states who’ve legalized and sell recreational marijuana.

  15. - frisbee - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    Mama- Done!

  16. - Alexander Paterakis - Your friendly neighborhood Candidate - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    Paterakis first to support full legalization. See Rich likes to forget…

  17. - Alexander Paterakis - Your friendly neighborhood Candidate - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 3:46 pm:

  18. - Biker - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:16 pm:

    So happy to see Senator Bids come out for Legalization.

  19. - Biker - Wednesday, Mar 29, 17 @ 9:17 pm:


  20. - NOGmo - Tuesday, Apr 18, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    As it turns out, I am seeing Chris Kennedy speak at my local Indivisible meeting tonight. I plan on asking him his views on, not only medical cannabis, but recreational as well. I plan on telling him my story of chronic pain and use of medical cannabis.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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