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Rauner calls legalizing marijuana a “mistake”

Friday, Dec 1, 2017

* Gov. Rauner was asked by WSIL about legalizing marijuana in Illinois

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 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. I do not support legalizing marijuana.

* Meanwhile

It’s looking more likely Michigan will vote next year on whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

This week, the The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted over 360,000 petition signatures to place the question on the 2018 ballot.

If the Michigan Bureau of Elections determines that at least 252,523 of those signatures are valid, the question will likely appear before voters next November. […]

“The revenue would be shared between schools, roads, and local governments (under the proposal),” says Roth. “And these are areas that people are constantly saying are in desperate need of money.”

Michigan could very well be the first Great Lakes state to legalize it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - TopHatMonocle - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    Everyone who opposes marijuana legalization throws out the red herring argument of “won’t someone please thing of the children”. No one is saying kids should be able to buy it. The current black market makes it easier for kids to get their hands on it. Once it’s legal illicit sources will dry up in favor of legitimate establishments.

  2. - Shake - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    Why Does This Not Surprise Anyone? Rauner Not On Board With Positive Revenue.Illinois Always Behind The Times?

  3. - A guy - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    Irony. If this Gov didn’t create such frustration, there would be far fewer people looking for recreational marijuana. He’s driving them to it. /s

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    How long would be enough before Rauner thinks we should make a decision here?

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    We might want to also see how massive cuts to higher education, health care programs and addiction services under your administration are “impacting lives and addiction and hurting young people”

    Fixed it for ya gov.

    This guy has the intellectual integrity of an etch-a-sketch

  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    I’m guessing the brewing interests that buy Rauner’s hops in Colorado probably fill his head with this nonsense.

  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Irony here is Rauner often appears, thinks, talks, dresses like he’s been bonging since breakfast.

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    And Wisconsin just legalized industrial hemp.

  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    How about if it’s a marijuana club, like Rauner’s wine club and cigar club?

    Would that make it acceptable, if only rich dudes could get in on it?

    I kid. Rich dudes can already smoke as much weed as they want without fear of the law. It’s people who can’t afford to lawyer up good that get tuned up over weed.

  10. - Bobby T - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    This is where he puts his “social agenda” tent stake?

    He’s fine with abortions — but will not, under any circumstances, legalize pot?

    Makes no sense. It’s like Rauner’s throwing darts at a board. Some hit, most don’t. No rhyme, no reason, his aim is so random.

  11. - TheGoodLieutenant - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Not sure how that statement helps him whatsoever in his reelection bid. Didn’t the last poll on the legalization issue indicate around 75% in favor?

  12. - Anon1234 - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    Some of the concerns about kids are valid. I know my kids recently were saying marijuana must be safe because it is getting legalized everywhere. The message it sends about legalizing it is that it doesn’t carry risks. While for many people pot is no big deal, it can be a huge problem for some, especially those who are susceptible to serious mental illness. I am biased because I work with mentally ill patients and I’ve seen a number of people who have likely been negatively impacted by marijuana.

  13. - Bobby T - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    BTW — Rauner does realize, I hope, that if he manages to legalize marijuana he would — without question — win the election.

    This is the winning issue. This would re-elect Rauner. And what does Rauner do? Pretend like he’s got some moral issue with it.

    What the heck?

  14. - cdog - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    “You know there’s a massive human experiment going on..”

    There’s been an 85 yr experiment with alcohol, since 1933 when the 21st Amend was ratified.

    I’ve buried a lot more people from alcohol abuse than from smoking weed.

    Worried about “massive human experiments?” Wait until those self-driving cars with their “trolley problem” algorithms hit the road. /s

  15. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    Anon1234 - Legalization is approaching almost 4 years now in Colorado. And while Rauner characterizes this as a “massive human experience” there’s no credible evidence that its use is causing any more problems or issues with mental health than we normally see in society.

    Legalization certainly doesn’t equate to safety. There are lots of things that are legal but cause harm. Tobacco, liquor, and even processed food are all on the list.

    We should debate the pros and cons of legalization on facts not perceptions.

  16. - anon2 - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:59 pm:

    === The current black market makes it easier for kids to get their hands on it. ===

    So legalization would make it as hard for teens to get marijuana as it is to get beer. All righty then.

    === I’ve buried a lot more people from alcohol abuse than from smoking weed.===

    That suggests that the commercial legalization model used with alcohol has not been that effective in protecting public health and safety. A better model is the one being used today with tobacco, where smoking is legal but is becoming less socially acceptable, and usage is declining, including among teens.

  17. - Anon E. Moose - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Very disappointing considering that criminal justice reform has been one positive aspect of Rauner’s otherwise disastrous tenure. I guess he favors regulation after all.

  18. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    **I know my kids recently were saying marijuana must be safe because it is getting legalized everywhere. **

    Do they also think cigarettes and alcohol “must be safe?” What about guns?

  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Governor elect Murphy and his chief of staff should be interesting to watch on this cannabis front in New Jersey.

  20. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    =So legalization would make it as hard for teens to get marijuana as it is to get beer. All righty then.=

    You joke but weed was much easier to get in high school where I grew up. You could have it by the end of the day IN school. You’d have to plan a week ahead for alcohol when your buddies junkie uncle would finally be available.

  21. - cdog - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    anon2, adding to your comment, what I see with alcohol are the folks that slowly kill themselves, moving through the stages of alcoholism.

    Once the dependency on alcohol for the nervous system to operate is in place, i.e. shakes if not sipping all day, it’s downhill from there. The liver, the brain, become destroyed and it is painful to watch and horrible for the alcoholic.

    I’ve never seen anything of the sort with people that have smoked weed for decades. It’s not ideal but it seems to be a reasonable use of their free will, sans the legal environment.

    Once again, Rauner just isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

  22. - Anonymice - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    =That suggests that the commercial legalization model used with alcohol has not been effective…=

    I don’t know that you can quite make that jump so easily. It could merely suggest that there is very strong causation between alcohol consumption and bodily harm, regardless of commercial legalization/regulations. I cannot see drinking becoming less socially acceptable any time soon, so I don’t know how effective a “tobacco model” would be; plus we are already well aware of the dangers of alcohol yet still choose to consume it.

  23. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    Besides prohibiting minors to buy it, (and drug dealers have no problem selling to minirs now), regulation would take away the financial incentive to be in a gang, and all the violence that goes with that. Chicago, Springfield, Rockford and East St. Louis might actually become peaceful.

  24. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Also, the main reason marijuana can be a gateway drug is because it’s illegal. That’s how you meet drug dealers.

  25. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:28 pm:

    ===I’ve seen a number of people who have likely been negatively impacted by marijuana.===
    Of course you have. People who work with the mentally ill have known for many years that mentally ill peoplr self medicate rather than see proper psychiatric and psychological help. Do you know it is next to impossible to get psychiatric treatment on Medicaid?

  26. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    “I’ve seen a number of people who have likely been negatively impacted by marijuana.”

    And I’ve seen a number of people who have likely been negatively impacted by peanuts. But I still think peanut prohibition and goober criminalization would be a terrible public policy.

    – MrJM

  27. - cdog - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    Mr. JM, I thought your team was discouraging #whataboutism and trying to not engage in logical fallacies. /s

  28. - sulla - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    And thus Rauner uses a permanent marker to check the libertarian box on his “give everyone a reason not to vote for me” list.

  29. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Kids can pretty much easily get weed. Criminalization of marijuana has been an utter failure in many ways. Many who don’t want to smoke/vape/eat/drink weed won’t, no matter how available it is. Does weed cause problems or exacerbate them? Sure, but that should be treated medically or psychologically rather than locking people up and giving them criminal records (or having them pay civil fines for small amounts).

    And I thought Rauner supports criminal justice reforms.

    Rauner is very wrong in opposing legalization. He wants to extract harsh concessions from working people rather than taking in tax revenue at the state and local levels. There are different ways to skin budget cats, if I may use the adage (I’m a pet lover), but Rauner wants to skin middle class workers.

  30. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    The only thing I know is that if Pritzker gets the nomination and makes legalization a big part of his campaign, turnout in Chicago and in college towns is going to be much higher than normal off year elections. Vast majority of those opposed are older voters who most likely already support Rauner. Just one more area where gov is contracting his base of voters, not expanding it.

  31. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    Lester Holt’s Mustache - I agree this is low hanging fruit for someone. The people that are opposed to it are probably not going to vote singularly for one candidate or another on this basis. But it has the potential to get a lot of people to the polls that might otherwise stay home.

    I’m not saying that the only reason to support this are the political benefits, but we should be a lot more practical in our approach. Colorado has been at this for nearly four years now and there’s no sign that reefer madness has taken hold. It’s only a matter of time before this is done.

  32. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    Politically this is a big fat loser for Rauner. But it may be the only thing upon which he and I agree.

  33. - frisbee - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    One of the easiest “wins” for creating jobs, boosting the economy and bringing investments to IL and Rauner goes with the “massive human experiment” excuse…

    I suppose when you’re just trying to win a primary against Ives you gotta appeal to those Puritan values.

  34. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    CDog, what logical fallacies did Mr. JM engage in?

    That phrase has a meaning, you should acquaint yourself with it. For example, straw man building is a logical fallacy.

  35. - Glengarry - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    I’m sure Rauner governorship is a much bigger mistake.

  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:51 pm:

    I was against legalization, but since Rauner is, then I’ve got to re-evaluate my thinking.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 2:51 pm:

    To the Post,

    I do feel the governor comes at this a bit differently then most of us.

    To the practicality of it, I can disagree with the governor, and I do, but, I will support Governor Rauner for having the position he does have and I fully understand his own concerns.

  38. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    I suspect that Bruce Rauner is superimposing his own son’s drug addiction on the facts just as Chris Kennedy is superimposing his own brother’s drug addiction on the facts.

    That is a forgivable flaw in logic of barrooms, coffee shops and various other salons, but not an acceptable flaw in the chief executive of the fifth largest state.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

  39. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    I guess he can’t figure out how to make money off legal weed. For himself, I mean. He wants the state to remain broke.

  40. - Belle - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    Maybe he’s planning on the gang-vote since they will be the ones to really suffer if marijuana is legalized? Gotta support your local Latin Kings Chapter.

  41. - Maddog - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    rauner with a gift to the outfit, cartels and street gangs. JB in a landslide. Should be slam dunk early ‘19, but Michigan will get the jump on us.

  42. - James Knell - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:36 pm:

    Groan… Rauner… why does he and his ilk exist?

    Good comments, Wordslinger.

  43. - justpeachy - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    Just another topic that Rauner knows nothing about but continues to talk. @BobbyT…If legalizing MJ would get him re-elected…I’d rather wait for the next governor to legalize it.

  44. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    Good idea not to be the next in line state to legalize it. Let’s let some other states establish best practices first. Legalization is going to happen sooner or later. Guv has some good points, and the human impact is not benign. Colorado, for example, has marijuana candies, which for sure are going to end up in the hands of young teens. Thought those should be banned.

    Pritzker is on the record supporting legalization, but we’ll see if he makes this more than a minor campaign point. Don’t think the state is ready for this.

  45. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    best practices, they are already in place. the only mistakes being made are not legalizing marijuana and not legalizing growing hemp. the two are not related (seriously, weed harms hemp so they have to be grown way apart), but the two could provide lots of money to the coffers. at least start by recovering smarts and legalizing hemp. the founding fathers knew what was right.

  46. - CivilSpk - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    What will Illinois do with all that cash from the taxation since the lottery solved the school funding problem?
    The problem with our youth and pot will have long term negative effects. I have a front row seat for 100s of them as well as with alcohol. They believe it is safe and don’t realize how it changes their personalities and drive.
    The decriminalization hasn’t helped Chicago violence. ‘

    The cartels are doing better in Colorado now that it is legalized. It actually makes it easier for them to operate. They are like Amazon. Fast shipping and lower prices.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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