Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Don’t believe everything you read
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Don’t believe everything you read

Monday, Apr 23, 2018

* A classic he said/she said in the Sun-Times

An anti-cannabis group estimates legalizing recreational marijuana use will cost Illinois $670 million a year.

But pro-legalization pols say they’re just blowing smoke.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana, in collaboration with Healthy & Productive Illinois, concluded in a report on Thursday that drugged driving, as well as greater levels of workplace injury and absenteeism, would be the biggest contributors to the estimated cost. […]

But state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who helped introduce legislation for legalizing and regulating the substance, was critical of the research.

“To call it a study is overly generous,” Cassidy said. “It relies heavily on data that has been debunked repeatedly, from an organization that has been repeatedly debunked.”

* The Healthy & Productive Illinois “study” conflates state government revenues from pot sales with overall economic costs of legalization. Those are two very different things. Not to mention that their projected economic costs are mostly goofy.

For instance, they claim legalization will cost the economy $210.4 million in increased absenteeism. Wow, that sure is precise. But real studies do no corroborate this projection (click here).

* They say that costs of workplace injuries will rise by $58.5 million. But this is from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

There is no or insufficient evidence to support or refute a statistical association between cannabis use and… Occupational accidents or injuries (general, non-medical cannabis use)

Click here for another one.

* They claim that increased drugged driving fatalities will cost society $231 million and increased drugged driving injuries will cost $85.2 million. But, while the number of Colorado’s car accidents increased after it ended prohibition, the state’s population increased as well and two studies showed no correlation (one actually showed that deaths fell).

They even project that “Marijuana concentrate lab explosions” will cost $13.3 million a year. Um, OK. Most of those explosions that I could find were in illegal “labs.” Legalization brings regulations.

* So, who’s behind this Healthy & Productive Illinois group? The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association, the Mid-West Truckers Association and the Illinois Association Of Housing Authorities.

In other words, you have two police groups which have members who directly benefit from drug seizure laws. And the Mid-West Truckers Association has operated a drug testing service for well over 20 years, so it may be making a few bucks off of that. The group’s director told me they oppose legalization because “federal law pretty much has zero tolerance for it” and flunking a drug test “will put a transportation worker out-of-service and often out of a job.”

* Back to the Sun-Times story

“It’s important to consider studies like this, that show costs may outweigh revenue the state could bring in, and see the impact of experiments with legalization going on in Colorado, California and other places before making any decision about it in Illinois,” Rachel Bold, spokeswoman for Rauner, said.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Are there any studies anywhere that show how many more people try marijuana and become regular users after it is legalized? I bet you he percentage increase is not that large.

  2. - A guy - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    Stats: Fake ‘em til you make ‘em. There are multiple states where med mar is legal. What do those show? Other states than Colorado?

    Is it too much to ask for a real comprehensive study if these folks are so concerned? Ugh.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    Smart Approaches to Marijuana, founded by Patrick Kennedy, does not disclose its funders on the national level.

    But from disclosure on its state level PACS, one of their biggest contributors is a DC rich person, Julie Schauer:

    –….she has made her views on marijuana public on several occasions. Tom Angell, founder of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority and a reporter for, uncovered 2-year-old comments Schauer posted on the website OpenSecrets in which she blamed mass shootings and terrorist attacks, including the Boston Marathon bombing, on the perpetrators’ marijuana use.–

    So, a new twist to Reefer Madness.

  4. - Henry Francis - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    You still have a bunch of folks who don’t accept the science behind climate change. Getting them to accept that this “illegal drug” actually isn’t the devil weed that Nancy Reagan warned us about is gonna be tough.

  5. - Just Observing - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    Does the “study” take into account that a large segment of the population is already smoking pot?

  6. - Casual observer - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    Since legalization of marijuana in California, dispensaries are reporting a large number of new customers are seniors. Baby boomers are retiring just as arthritis kicks in. I don’t think they give a hoot what this group claims.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    What about the costs to low income folks and minorities, who suffer the most under illegal marijuana? How much money is spent every year on incarcerating, trying and arresting people? What about the crime that’s committed in gangs—the violence and social costs—that impacts poor people? Like Royko said a long time ago, it’s not like Lake Forest kids are out on the streets shooting each other up.

    Even after Chicago decriminalized marijuana, it was reported that people of color were disproportionately arrested (at the discretion of police).

    Illegal marijuana has racist roots, and it’s still racist to insist that we keep this abysmally failed policy alive—a policy that wastes millions of dollars and harms so many lives.

  8. - d.p.gumby - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    What were they smoking while doing their “study”?

  9. - Casual observer - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    Good article supporting my previous post:

  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    Gover Hickenlooper of Colorado doesn’t recommend this. It’s a Pandora’s bong filled with problems.

  11. - ImNotTaylorSwift - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    “It’s important to consider studies that show the Earth is flat, they show a different view of our world and can’t be discounted. We should think about this before making any decision about it,” Rachel Bold, probably

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===Gover Hickenlooper of Colorado doesn’t recommend this===

    Dude wants all the money for his state.

  13. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Can’t wait for Rauner’s roll out alcohol prohibition

  14. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    Just because something becomes legal doesn’t make it legal to drive while using it. No one would be forcing a trucker to use pot any more than they’d be forcing a trucker to drink alcohol. Not understanding the Midwest Truckers opposition here. Are they saying the same truckers who know they can’t drink and drive wouldn’t understand they can’t smoke pot and drive? They would still be doing the same testing they are now.

  15. - Earnest Not Borgnine - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    Couldn’t even be bothered to address the issue himself, had to have a spokeswoman do it.

    Just how much is Rauner figuring being against this issue will hurt him?

  16. - frisbee - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 4:26 pm:

    Word, if you want Reefer Madness you should know that the Macon County Sheriff is worried about the drug dogs being put to sleep if Illinois legalizes the herb.

  17. - Weedly Peedly - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    Reefer Madness… It’s still in play 82 years later

  18. - Radio Flyer - Monday, Apr 23, 18 @ 6:55 pm:

    Pot sniffing dogs can’t be used for DUIs? They can’t become pets?

  19. - Devon Wallace - Tuesday, Apr 24, 18 @ 8:13 am:

    The smartest approach to marijuana begins with honest, accurate, balanced information.

    Nearly every claim by SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) is misleading, disputed or refuted by the scientific community. This makes every monetary claim in their anti-legalization reports groundless for the most part. In their “cost of legalization” reports they do not even attempt to include any data regarding positives of legalization other than predicted tax income. For example, money will be saved from far fewer arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations for sales/possession, yet this data is not factored into their reports. While difficult or impossible to convert into monetary terms, our core beliefs in liberty and freedom are also completely left out of the discussion.

    SAM founders/leaders have strong ties to the addiction treatment industry which will significantly benefit from forced court-related treatment referrals that inevitably occur under prohibition. This is likely part of the reason why they fight legalization.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Illinois will be first state to borrow from Federal Reserve
* Pritzker, Preckwinkle, Cupich call for peace, reforms
* S&P: Latest state budget "continues to be precariously balanced"
* Question of the day
* 1,614 new cases, 113 additional deaths
* IGPA conducts poll of experts on pandemic response
* Lightfoot on Trump Insurrection Act threat: "This is a man who likes to bluster"
* Your moment of Zen
* Chicago forges ahead
* Rumors and looters
* Violence flared in Cicero and Naperville last night
* Peaceful marches after turbulent weekend
* Open thread
* I'll be back tomorrow
* ISP Director: Job is to allow people to be heard and not be drowned out by crime - "We've had requests for assistance from every part of the state" - No indication "of an organized structured group" - More ramp closures than anyone can recall - Says "different tone and tenor" today, and "we hope it stays that way" - Limitations of ILEAS prompts resource shifting - "This is different than other protests" - "We have to be different" - Three regions - "We are going to be ready for anything and we are ready for anything"
* Pritzker calls up 250 more IL National Guard members, deploys 300 more ISP troopers for areas outside Chicago - Issues disaster proclamation for 9 counties - Says Trump has"fanned the flames instead of bringing peace and calm" - Chicago requested "limited role" for National Guard - Of Trump: "I really think it is time to call for calm" - All community-based COVID-19 testing sites closed - "We're being responsive as municipalities have asked us to step in" - "I don't want to dominate peaceful protesters who have legitimate grievances" - On Trump spat: "I think people should know what we stand for" - ISP has "several different missions" - Disaster declaration gives flexibility
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller