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Pritzker vows “very, very, strong good bill” to legalize cannabis

Friday, Apr 12, 2019

* Gov. Pritzker sat down with Tina Sfondeles yesterday for a wide-ranging interview. One topic they discussed was legalizing cannabis. Pritzker predicted the final proposal will be a “very, very, strong good bill” and will pass. Here’s some of what he said on the topic..

“I have teenagers, and I was very concerned, just not knowing. I asked a lot of questions about how does this affect teen use,” Gov. Pritzker said. “And in Washington state — where that was the governor’s big concern there too — they did a very good job of showing there was no increase in teen use.”

As for the concerns of police associations across the state over how law enforcement will be able to determine whether a driver is impaired, he acknowledged there’s no current technology to measure impairment when it comes to cannabis.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s now clear that with 11 states already with legalized adult use cannabis, there are entrepreneurs out there that recognize that every police department is going to want something,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said he has spent a “reasonable” amount of time studying other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, specifically Washington state. And he acknowledged there will likely be follow-up bills to the legalization measure. But he said legalization is crucial as a criminal justice reform element, to ensure the safety of cannabis in the state and to create jobs.

“This happened in medical cannabis. You start out and then you figure out this isn’t working out quite as well and you make tweaks along the way,” Pritzker said. “With legislation, nothing is perfect and so yes, along the way, it’ll improve.”

Go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - very old soil - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:11 am:

    Go JB Go

  2. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:20 am:

    My gosh, he sounds like Trump explaining his healthcare bill.

  3. - don the legend - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:20 am:

    Is JB that much more articulate than Rauner? Or did Rauner set the bar so low for effective communication that anybody would shine when next to the disaster that Rauner was?

  4. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:23 am:

    My goodness, he sounds just like he’s actually studied the issue.

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:24 am:

    –The billionaire — who will be paying 3% more on his taxes should his plan succeed –

    Three percentage points more — the proposed top rate is a 60% bump from the current flat rate.

    So many journalists struggle with percentages. But, just logically, would there be such a ruckus over a 3% increase?

  6. - Birdseed - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    I am certainly relieved that we are going to ensure the safety of cannabis.

  7. - Cheech - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    Will Governor JB call special session on 4/20 to pass the legalization bill?

  8. - Perrid - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    wordslinger, think you are nitpicking a bit much there. He’ll pay 3% more of his income in tax, which is a 60.6% increase in the tax. The two statements are equivalent, just different ways of packaging it. It could have been more explicit what the base for the percentage is, but I don’t think it was wrong

  9. - Kayak - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    Illegitimi non carborundum indeed. Let’s pass this thing.

  10. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    Pritzker sounds well versed and reasoned on recreational marijuana. What he is saying makes sense.

    What I really like about his approach is that he is able to acknowledge and talk about the opposition with out degrading them or coming up with insulting nicknames. Just one more change from the previous administration.

    That change in tone is meaningful in dealing with what remains of the ILGOP. With civility, people tend not to back themselves into a corner. I hope both sides of the aisle start listening.

    I still don’t like what he is doing by shorting the pensions, but he is doing some very good things.

    =He’ll pay 3% more of his income in tax, which is a 60.6% increase in the tax. The two statements are equivalent, just different ways of packaging it. It could have been more explicit what the base for the percentage is, but I don’t think it was wrong=

    I definitely do not speak for Word, but I thought the same thing he did when I read that.

    When the temporary increase was passed under Quinn the GOP and Rauner (during his campaign) ran around and shouted that it was a 67% increase and acted as if the apocalypse was upon us. The income tax rose 2 percentage points from 3% to 5%. Yes, 2% is 67% of 3% (if you round up) put the point was to make it a huge deal and not talk about paying bills.

  11. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    Legalize it. it may be somewhat different than medical weed, but the mere thought that I could access weed legally for when I have a headache or a stomach issue and want to relieve it with that makes me very happy. just do it.

  12. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    –wordslinger, think you are nitpicking a bit much there.–

    Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  13. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Good on Pritzker for evolving. According to articles, teen use is down after marijuana legalization in Washington, and also in Colorado. Reefer Madness is the fearful, unknowing voice of yesterday, wanting to keep a massively-failed prohibition system in place, where there’s rampant use, 100% black market sales and no benefits like revenue. And we think marijuana users are paranoid?

  14. - LetsLegalizeIt - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    I appreciate Pritzker’s refreshingly rational approach to cannabis and legalization. Senator Steans and Rep. Cassidy have been working on this for years, and they’ve been meeting with stakeholders and have town halls up and down Illinois. The few details they’ve let slip have all been very conservative, yet people are still against this somehow? Michigan allows 12 plants and 2.5 ounces at home - we’d get 5 plants and 1 ounce.

  15. - Johnnie F. - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    Don’t police have field/motor skills tests for impairment? The impact of many prescription and OTC medications vary greatly for each person. Maybe we should worry more about impairment from high blood pressure meds and opioids? I think the impaired driving aspect is much less of a worry with pot than alcohol. Pot users I know tend to stay planted, they go pick up take out food first, then enjoy a smoke.

  16. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    ==Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.==

    Said Marty Moylan to JB. Probably

  17. - XonXoff - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    We just returned from a week in the Seattle (and North WA) area. It’s as beautiful as ever. In a week of hiking, whale watching, many hours walking visiting small towns, and a couple visits to downtown Seattle, we didn’t smell burning cannabis once. The sky has not fallen. Everyone we met was genuinely friendly and happy. The only indication of legalization we noticed were a couple retail cannabis shops in each small town and then there was this one middle-aged couple on a whale watching tour who just could not stop giggling with each other – which seems like a real non-problem to me – maybe they were just exceptionally happy together. There was the occasional sign along the road and ads for shops in local print publications. Their shops have not much more than a simple “Cannabis” sign out front with maybe a little bright green paint or trim on the building. It would have been relatively easy to miss the whole weed thing if I hadn’t been watching for it.

    With the exception of Washington being the only legal rec state currently disallowing home grow, it seems like a great model. Locals I talked with said they’re not aware of any problems and there’s legislation on the books to add a 6 plant per person or 12 plant household home grow, which is expected to pass, so I hope Illinois will make note of that and leave home grow in the Steans bill. Washington state is a top candidate for our retirement if we decide to leave Illinois.

    Their home grow bill is for personal use by responsible adults, not to facilitate criminal grow houses. Those would be just as illegal as they have been.

    Sounds like J.B. is indeed doing his homework on this. I do hope they don’t try to shoehorn more Illinois residents into the medical program just so we can grow a few plants for their personal use. Washington state will likely be past that soon. If Illinois wants to pride itself on being a new gold standard strict tax and regulate model, set home grow at 5, take the taxes on the low hanging fruit of retail sales, don’t over-tax, and let the cartels take the hit.

  18. - Generic Drone - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    @Johnnie F. You sound like you’re speaking from expierence.

  19. - foster brooks - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    just copy and paste Colorado’s law , effective when signed

  20. - illinifan - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    JB has been discussing legalization when he was running in the primary to be the Dem nominee. He has met with medical professionals and law enforcement as well as substance abuse treatment providers so he is informed.

  21. - I Miss Bentohs - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    I’ll admit I know little about pot but I do know it is called a weed. Is that literal? If so, I am against home grown. We are an agricultural state and I do not want farmers (or even my garden) to fight another weed.

  22. - nadia - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Yikes, he sounded like Trump on that quote.

  23. - XonXoff - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    – We are an agricultural state and I do not want farmers (or even my garden) to fight another weed. –

    It has always grown wild all around the Midwest as “ditch weed.” If you’re not bothered by unwanted cannabis plants now you’re not likely to see any effect from a homegrow provision. The goal for most rec growers (not breeders, and not outdoor hemp growers) will be to only grow ‘seedless’ female plants to maturity. Many nowadays, and especially with a low plant count of 5, will grow feminized seeds for simplicity and eliminating the need to cull unwanted male plants. I’ll be surprised if Illinois allows legal outdoor growing at all, at least initially.

  24. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Cannabis is an herb…not a pernicious weed.

    Hemp is a potentially valuable resource/crop that will transform our future in many areas…if developed and used wisely.

  25. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    If garlic mustard could get you high, our problems would be solved.

  26. - Illinois Resident - Friday, Apr 12, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    Let’s legalize it - Michigan residents actually can have up to 10 ounces of cannabis in their home. 2.5 ounces in public.

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