Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Ford County GOP upset with Sen. Barickman for backing legal marijuana
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Ford County GOP upset with Sen. Barickman for backing legal marijuana

Friday, Dec 22, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the Paxton Record

The Ford County Republican Central Committee met last Saturday and erupted when the legalization of marijuana came up for discussion.

Noting that state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, put out a memo earlier in the week in support of legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, many comments and questions arose among precinct committeemen and the public.

Many voiced their objection to Barickman’s position, stating that marijuana is an addictive gateway drug that will lead to using other illicit drugs. Since its use for medical purposes, many factions have been pushing for legalizing the drug for recreational use.

That caused one participant to ask what such use would do to DUI violations, or the use by teens.

“How accessible will it become for younger people?” the person said.

Already, there is no significant penalty for possession or use of small amounts of marijuana in Illinois. And the court system has not worked well in preventing use.

Barickman postulated that its legalization would raise money for the state.

“Addictive gateway drug.” It’s like we’ve stepped back in time.

Also, it’s easier for a teenager to buy weed than beer and has been for decades. Criminal drug dealers don’t check ID cards.

Sen. Barickman voted for gay marriage. He survived. He’ll survive this, too. The world will not end when we stop putting people in prison for inventing, growing, selling and consuming marijuana products.


  1. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Wait until they hear his positions on dancing and rock music.

  2. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    i’m trending to wanting a massive weed in on the capitol lawn. it’s been years since I’ve smoked, but it was never addicting, and I did not graduate to anything stronger. perhaps the Republicans should think about outlawing chocolate, now that is an addiction.

  3. - cover - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    = It’s like we’ve stepped back in time. =

    Seems to be a common theme with a prominent slice of the electorate these days…

  4. - Boat captain - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    No one says anything about the pharmaceutical companies pushing legal opioids for pain and then people get addicted to them and can’t get off of them. They have their place but that is a problem also.

  5. - Chris P. Bacon - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    Marijuana remains an unlawful Schedule 1 drug under federal law, along with other drugs like heroin and LSD. The weed heads can try to rationalize all they want and say the federal classification is wrong, but encouraging people to just ignore the law of the land is irresponsible.

  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Go to Colorado.
    Look at everything they have had to go through.
    Look at all the secondary consequences that have impacted small border towns in their agricultural east.

    Every Colorado community is filling with homeless vagrants committing crimes.

    State troopers are busy dealing with stoned drivers hauling pot across state lines.

    Legalization brings new real problems.

    Citizens are to be respected.

  7. - Payback - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Give me a break with this nonsense. Rantoul, Paxton and Ford county have been slowly disintegrating since the closing of the huge Air Force base, not that they were ever garden spots to begin with. The nosey flatlanders just can’t stand the idea that someone in their immediate vicinity doesn’t conform to the group, as defined by them.

    If the judgey types want an issue to get worked up about, talk to the elderly residents of Ford county who sold out to wind turbine companies and are now sick from the ultra low frequency waves.

  8. - Moe Berg - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Farmers are hurting financially these days. The farmer suicide rate is off the chart. It’s very bad. These folks ought to think about the potential for the crop - both the version with THC and without. A lot you can do with industrial hemp, too.

    I applaud Sen. Barickman for speaking out on this.

  9. - Arsenal - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    This is all of a piece with Ives, HB40, the Proft primaries, etc. IL Republican leadership correctly surmised that they can only win the state with moderates, especially social moderates. And for a spell, it looked like the national Republicans were headed that way, too. But then Trump happened, and now all the true blue (Red?) conservatives are asking why they still have to go along with the deal.

    Rauner, Barickman, Durkin, etc., will all probably win their primaries, and the True Conservatives won’t get their answer.

  10. - Chicago_Downstater - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:08 am:


    I almost did a spit take on that one. Thanks for the laugh.

    To the post:
    I have a feeling the folks clutching their pearls over legalizing marijuana at that meeting are a very, very vocal minority. I think he’ll be ok too, though I suspect some folks might look into getting a primary opponent to run against him if he keeps supporting these “hooligan” policies.

  11. - 33rd Ward - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Yeah, nothing good happening in Colorado where home values are up, crime is down, and the state finances are sound.

    Who would want to emulate that, when we can still lock people up for doing something they W as my to do in the Land of the “free”.

  12. - Saluki - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Standing Ovation for VanillaMan.

  13. - m - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    This is what happens when the government spends decades telling people that =marijuana is an addictive gateway drug that will lead to using other illicit drugs=.

  14. - We'll See - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Ford County was the last of Illinois’ cointies to be organized so it figures they’d be a little legging on this issue too.

  15. - toothlesstiger - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ====“Addictive gateway drug.” It’s like we’ve stepped back in time.====

    Our “not in charge Governor” has been the chief obstacle-in-charge with his similar rhetoric. Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way.

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Don’t pretend like mass incarceration doesn’t have consequences either.

  17. - Langhorne - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Pop quiz. Addictive gateway drug (pick one):
    A) meth
    B) marijuana

  18. - JS Mill - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    Ahhhh the the party of personal responsibility hard at work! Ford county and many like it would have been please to stay in the 1950’s except for the fact that back in the 50’s they were longing for the 1890’s.

    Vman- if the people are to be respected than marijuana would be legal for recreational use given that (per polling) the majority support legalization.

  19. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    ===“How accessible will it become for younger people?” the person said.===

    Welp. How accessible is it now? When I was in high school, at the turn of the century, the government had really clamped down on sales of alcohol to those under the age. I couldn’t get booze anywhere. But guess what…? I knew four places where I could reliably get weed. And those were just the reliable places. Illegality actually makes it more accessible to teens, not less.

  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    “How accessible will it become for younger people?” Perhaps that person in Ford County should go to Paxton-Buckley-Loda High and ask what is available today.

  21. - anon2 - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    Addictive gateway drug? They must be talking about alcohol.

    The Ford County GOP indicates why there won’t be many GOP votes when legalization comes, just as there weren’t many GOP votes for medical marijuana.

  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    ===Citizens are to be respected. ===

    Yep. Stop listening to the very tiny minority of opponents would be a great first step. And then stop locking citizens in steel cages for possessing or selling weed.

  23. - Blue sox - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    The addictive gateway drug is Oxycontin. And people are getting it legally from their doctors. If we were able to put money and resources currently used to police people who sell and smoke marijuana toward the opiod crisis, we would be much better off. I agree with Barickman, let’s tax it.

  24. - Bitwich - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    “It’s like we’ve stepped back in time.”

    That is an accurate description of Ford County.

  25. - striketoo - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Great parody of an ignorant Ford County politician, Vanilla Man. Please tell me it was a parody.

  26. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Pretty sure “step back in time” is the official motto of the Ford County GOP

  27. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Based on most comments, it doesn’t seem possible one can hold an opposing opinion and not be called nasty names. One can be wrong and not be a (take your pick).

  28. - Baloneymous - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    So homeless vagrants are relocating to Colorado so they can’t commit crimes—-so they buy legal weed? Huh?

  29. - Just Sayin' - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    Anonymous @ 11:05: Exactly, even if those opinions (apparently Neanderthal in nature from the majority of comments) are backed by epidemiological studies and investigative reporting. If a commenter doesn’t acknowledge that marijuana is harmless and is causing irreparable harm to Illinois by losing hundreds of millions in taxes, they are ridiculed.

  30. - JS Mill - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    I guess referring to people as “weed heads” is a compliment?

    The delicate Daisy squad is out in Force today, maybe this neighborhood is just to tough for you?

  31. - Radio Flyer - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    VM, during the great recession,I lost my job. I almost went to North Dakota to join the ranks of the homeless to pay my bills. North Dakota was the only state that had job openings due to fracking. There were no hotels due to the fact that the work was needed in rural areas, and people were sleeping in their cars and tents. Moral of the story, prosperity plus lack of available housing causes homelessness.

  32. - anon2 - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    The marijuana pendulum is swinging from one inaccurate extreme to the other. Marijuana is neither the dangerously addictive gateway drug depicted by reactionaries, nor is it the harmless weed depicted by the legalizers.

  33. - Radio Flyer - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    Marijuana causes homlessness the way fracking causes homelessness, the way the gold rush caused homelessness, the way the dust bowl caused homelessness. People moving from a location of less prosperity to a place of more prosperity and the inability of the new place to accommodate all the newcomers.

  34. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    = Every Colorado community is filling with homeless vagrants committing crimes.=

    I have family in Colorado so I visit the area regularly. None of us have any idea what you’re talking about.

  35. - Ron - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    Wow, Barickman sounds like a solid Republican. We need more like him.

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

    Pundent, yep. That is just plain silly talk. Illinois wishes it was half as good as Colorado.

  37. - Kyle Hillman - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    LizPhairTax just won the comment section. Bravo.

  38. - Lynn S. - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    My mother, a 70 year old retired nurse, likes to remind folks that “ALCOHOL is the gateway drug, NOT marijuana.”

  39. - Lynn S. - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    “How accessible will it become for younger people?”

    Well, I don’t know what Ducky LaMore defines as”turn of the century “, but I went to a small rural school district in a county smaller than Ford County in the 1970s-1980s.

    The high school students I rode the bus with were getting marijuana back then, before the Silk Road existed.

    I’m willing to bet, given its location between Chicago and the U of I, that the kids in Ford County have access to good quality weed.

  40. - Lynn S. - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    Standing ovation, with loud cheers, for Rich Miller at 10:43!

  41. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 2:59 pm:

    –No one says anything about the pharmaceutical companies pushing legal opioids for pain and then people get addicted to them and can’t get off of them.–

    Actually, five suburban state’s attorneys just sued a bunch of drug companies for a “corporate-caused drug epidemic.”

    One of the companies they sued is Abbott Labs, which is way-big-heat in Illinois.

    That takes guts, so good on them.

  42. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    Electing Ives as Governor will solve everything!

  43. - Lynn S. - Friday, Dec 22, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    Let’s give Barickman credit for one thing: he can count votes, and in his district the majority of them are over by Bloomington. I’d be willing to bet that a large number of those folks support legalization.

    It would be fascinating to find out, in that room in Ford County, if anyone besides Barickman is below the age of 55 or 60.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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