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Barickman jumps off cannabis legalization, but a new draft is coming

Thursday, May 9, 2019

* Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) told me earlier this week that he would wait and see the cannabis legalization bill before deciding what to do. Barickman has said in the past that he viewed legalization as inevitable and wanted to work on a compromise. But for now he’s off

Barickman said the governor “very controversially” proposed to expunge offenses that remain illegal even after legalization. In the proposal, it would be legal to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis but offenses for up to 500 grams would be eligible for expungement.

State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said that doesn’t really paint a clear picture, because while legal possession is up to 30 grams, dispensaries will be allowed to possess cannabis in much greater quantities. […]

Barickman also took issue with the way the revenue from the program would be allocated, specifically with the creation of a new grant that would be eligible to communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. Twenty-five percent of revenues from the recreational program would fund this grant. […]

Barickman said he was “supportive of the initiative” but felt the money could be better spent paying down Illinois’ bill backlog. […]

[Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell] said he believed that characterization to be “inaccurate.” In fact, he said the 10 percent of funding going toward the bill backlog was a Republican request. Mitchell said the way the tax structure is written is the result of a bipartisan effort.

“This is not a final product and the Governor’s Office is very open to negotiations,” said Mitchell. “But there are other voices that matter in this other than the Republican caucus.”

You can’t get enough Democratic votes without expungement.

* But Mitchell is right that this is not a final product. I’m expecting to see a new draft in the next day or so

[Sen. Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Olympia Fields] predicted there may be a compromise on home-grown plants, for instance to allow them only for patients with medical marijuana licenses.

But she was adamant about expungement of lower level marijuana crimes, saying, “People in suits will make millions of dollars off selling cannabis, while people are sitting in jail for the exact same activity? That’s fundamentally wrong.”

Not happy with the home grow change, but the object here is 60-30-signature.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PJ - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    People on here will freak about home grow if it goes, and I get that. But frankly like you said the biggest hurdle is this initial effort. Once people realize the sky doesn’t fall, it won’t be that hard to come back in a session or two and loosen some of restrictive pieces. If they have to choose between passage and home grow, they have to choose passage.

  2. - Perrid - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    Is there a way to get people out of jail without expunging their records? I get that it’s not going to happen, but it would be my ideal scenario. I agree people rotting in jail for something that is no longer illegal is unjust, but pretending they didn’t knowingly break the law is also unjust.

  3. - XonXoff - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Shoehorning citizens into the medical program.

  4. - PJ - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==pretending they didn’t knowingly break the law is also unjust==

    Unjust to whom, exactly? Who is hurt if someone no longer has to report a pot conviction to their potential employer in a state where smoking pot is completely legal? Convictions harm people for life. Understand that the conceit of legalization is not just that it should be legal *now*, it’s repudiating the fact that it ever was illegal, and acknowledging the fact that criminalization of cannabis has deeply racist originals. Just look up the quotes from Nixon’s advisers about how they wanted to go after black people and hippies.

  5. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Not happy with the home grown change either, but the object is passage. It may not be perfect, but passage would be massive reform and a huge foot in the door.

    Five hundred grams of marijuana is slightly over a pound. How cruel and petty is it to not want to legally forgive such a small amount of marijuana? People can have houses full of booze and guns. And when most of the people punished are from low-income communities that have suffered the worst of the failed war on weed?

  6. - Groucho - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    Is there a limit on how much alcohol I possess? There should not be one for pot either. Nor should we limit what you grow. It sure is hard for these guys to give up control and simply make something legal.

  7. - Illinois Resident - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    After a bit of research, it appears that homegrow will not be included at the end of the day due to not enough overall support. Over 20 democrats signed on the the Moylan bill to slow down the process. Anyone else concerned about that?

  8. - Hey oh. - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    Illinois resident-

    What reaserch? Site please.

  9. - Illinois Resident - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    I hope that instead of no home grow at all, they at least allow residents to grow one plant. It just seems like there are too many democrat politicians that base policy on reefer madness propaganda.

  10. - Hey oh. - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    Isnt this a state run monopoly if we cant grow our own?

  11. - Unpopular - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    I have my Moylan Votive candle burning…

  12. - Illinois Resident - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    It’s frustrating, if we were a ballot referendum state, we could pass just about whatever we want regarding cannabis legalization. Homegrow, etc.

  13. - I Miss Bentohs - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    Don’t include home grown. My selfish reason, I want the tax money. But, small amounts will not be prosecuted, so it is a moot point.

  14. - Illinois Resident - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    Hey Oh, Tried to respond earlier and the filter did not send my response through. I am basing my thoughts on over 20 house democrats signing onto Moylan’s bill to slow down the cannabis legalization process. That to me is not a good sign for liberal policy making.

  15. - Al - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    If they don’t get something passed soon, next year vacationers may choose Michigan over Illinois. Michigan has their program rolling toward January 1, 2020 and have announce in September they will begin processing license applications.

  16. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    “It just seems like there are too many democrat politicians that base policy on reefer madness propaganda.”

    They need to go. They’re living in the past, and the vast majority of voters have moved on. I hope they’re targeted hard in primaries and the General, in districts where voters support legalization.

  17. - Hey oh - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    - I Miss Bentohs -

    Home grow still generates tax revenue.

  18. - Taxpayer - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    Whatever is included, I think it’s important that it’s done during this session.

  19. - Tony Kendall - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    I agree with the priority being passage. At the same time, geez, would it kill them to allow people to have one or two plants at home? Also, expungement must be included - as the senator said you’re going to have a lot of (most likely white) people making a lot of money doing something that a lot of people of color are sitting in prison or jail for. Let’s stop the reefer madness.

  20. - Paceman - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    I look over the proposed legislation and I may have missed it, but how will persons in possession of untaxed marijuana be dealt with? Will the product have a tax stamp on the packaging like cigarettes?

  21. - Hey Oh - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    Forcing you to get a med card for home grow seems like a funnel to make the state more money off of your homegrown plants. 300.00 fee for 3 year card. Anyone and I mean anyone can get a med card for PTSD.

  22. - Illinois Resident - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Some folks have stated that we can look at getting homegrow in future sessions. While I agree, we at least need to pass store bought legalization this session, I don’t see a clear incentive for the legislature to pass homegrow in future sessions if it does not do so now.

  23. - RoscoeRatMatt - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Forcing you to get a med card for home grow seems like a funnel to make the state more money off of your homegrown plants. 300.00 fee for 3 year card. Anyone and I mean anyone can get a med card for PTSD.

    And I’ll be doing just that if homegrow doesn’t pass. No pun intended, but it’s high time to retire some of these fossils in Springfield, Moylan among others.

  24. - sulla - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    I’ll trade homegrow for 60-30 without batting an eye. Homegrow’s inclusion from the get-go looked like a fallback position.

    We can come back for homegrow a few years down the road with a different legislature.

    The key is getting adult use passed this session.

  25. - Jocko - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    C’mon. Does anyone seriously think that Illinois will be awash with ‘grow houses’ if this were to become law?

    Home brew has been legal since 2013 and I know of only one person (with a wife and two kids) who goes to the trouble. It’s a lot of work for very little product.

  26. - Johnnie F. - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    If they are going to only allow medical patients to grow, they need to significantly expand the list of medical conditions to better reflect that of other state’s medical programs, and ease the application process. Not sure the recreational program will have capacity to meet demand with the number of dispensaries slated to be opened.

  27. - LakeCoQ - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    Jocko has it right. 5 whole plants grown by people on their property is hardly going to equate to much. I doubt many will bother to actually grow any plants and of those who do, it will likely be in their backyards resulting in a few bags of low grade ditch weed.

  28. - Hey Oh - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    If the people had the vote this would have been a done deal with home grow included. Its one of the most modest home grows in the country. 1hr from here I can own a cottage and grow 12 plants…..I mean, really.

  29. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    Home grow is here to stay…whether legal or not.

    Keeping it prohibited only keeps the War on Cannabis going strong…against the citizens of Illinois.


  30. - truthteller - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    jail records, charges, convictions need to be expunged, period

  31. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    We can come back for homegrow a few years down the road with a different legislature. sulla

    I assume you are a relatively young person…but… please realize some of us will be dead in a “few” years.

    How many people will suffer persecution during those “few years” in the form of arrests/forfeiture for growing their own marijuana …I wonder?

    End of prohibition?…hardly.

    Patience favors youth…no doubt.

  32. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    No homegrow just gives more money to the current mmj industry since they will be the BIG winners with the way this bill is drafted. Ask anyone who works in the mmj industry or is a patient about the habitual shortages in supply and it is kinda crazy to think that the current growers proclaim their ability to supply the entire state and tourist demand. I thought HB 902 specifically earmarked some of the tax revenue towards the pension funds, maybe Sen Barickman should push for that bill.

  33. - Hey Oh - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    a few facts about home grown plants in general. I mean are these benefits being weighed??

    Plants can make you happy: House plants can contribute to a feeling of wellbeing, making you calmer and more optimistic. Studies have shown that patients who face a garden view in their hospital rooms often recover more quickly than those facing a wall.

    Plants can improve your mental health: Caring for a living thing can help when you’re depressed and lonely, giving you a purpose in life.

    Plants can decrease your blood pressure: People with plants in their homes have less stress, and plants have been known to contribute to lower blood pressure.

    Plants can reduce carbon dioxide: During photosynthesis, plants draw carbon dioxide from the air. Removing this substance can help prevent drowsiness from elevated levels.

  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    @Perrid. I don’t believe that Sen. Hutchinson is using the term “expungement” literally because generally that term usually refers to sealing a record after a certain period of time as long as enumerated conditions have been met. I believe that she is referring to early release of anyone who is serving time for lower level marijuana crimes and then allowing anyone with a conviction for certain marijuana crimes to petition the courts to expunge the convictions. That’s my interpretation of her comments.

  35. - Bourbon Street - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    Rich, Anonymous 4:36 pm is me.

  36. - Bourbon Street - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    @Perrid. Also, to answer your question, whether to expunge a record and whether to allow early release are two different issues.

  37. - revvedup - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:48 pm:

    When Prohibition was repealed, did they release those convicted of those offenses, and expunge their records? The rush to release and expunge is not warranted.

  38. - BerryOG - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:49 pm:

    i don’t think it makes sense to have homegrown restricted to medical patients. its very easy to get a medical card

  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:04 pm:

    Home grow is an absolute necessity.

    Forcing people to buy at dispensaries means they have to voluntarily self-identify as a cannabis user. I.e., your driver’s license gets scanned and you end up an Illinois database.

    Which puts a lot of people off - especially gun owners, where the issue of cannabis use is very fraught due to continuing federal intransigence.

    Many gun owners don’t become medical patients because the State can cross-reference the FOID card and Medical databases and automatically suspends second-Amendment rights.

    This is a loser of a bill if it excludes homegrow.

  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    … before anyone pipes up with “gun owners should not be allowed to use cannabis” i’m cool with that as soon as bars and liquor stores stop selling unlimited quantities of ethanol to gun owners.

  41. - XonXoff - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:38 pm:

    – … before anyone pipes up with “gun owners should not be allowed to use cannabis” i’m cool with that as soon as bars and liquor stores stop selling unlimited quantities of ethanol to gun owners. –

    Thank you. But it would be OK if they’re cops, right? /s

  42. - XonXoff - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:43 pm:

    – a few facts about home grown plants in general. I mean are these benefits being weighed?? –

    I’ll bite. No. Not even a little bit.

  43. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:45 pm:

    –When Prohibition was repealed, did they release those convicted of those offenses, and expunge their records? The rush to release and expunge is not warranted.–

    It was not illegal to possess or consume alcohol during Prohibition. No one went to jail for drinking.

    Gov. Small made a fortune selling pardons and paroles to bootleggers and gangsters. Feel better?

    Do you want these folks in jail for possession and use to have a chance to get a job, credit, an apartment, etc., in the future? You know, a chance to re-enter and be a productive member of society?

    Would you feel better if they wore a Scarlet M for the rest of their lives?

    What is the good public policy reason for not doing release and expunge?

  44. - XonXoff - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:52 pm:

    – Isnt this a state run monopoly if we cant grow our own? –

    Yes, unless you’re… sick?

  45. - Gardener - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 2:08 am:

    Gardening is my hobby. I grow fruit, vegetables, trees, native grasses and forbs and a few mj plants a year. I give away 80% of what I grow. I am in a professional licensed career, have a family and prosecution would be embarrassing. But I don’t see why this is illegal so I’ll continue. Stop making me a criminal for ordinary behavior.

  46. - Another Illinois resident leaving - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 7:30 am:

    If Illinois does not allow home grow, this is just icing on the cake to leave. I will sell my home and leave for Michigan or Colorado. Believe it or not there are responsible human beings out here. I still cant grasp the idea that if someone buys/uses a home brew beer kit no one bats an eye but if someone wants to grow a couple of plants in it’s most natural form suddenly the sky is falling. Where are we as human beings that we make a plant illegal. For those that think a plant should be illegal, wake up and get your head out of your ass. You’re not bigger than this planet or Mother Earth.

  47. - XonXoff - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 9:16 am:

    I’ll credit the police for nuking homegrow until I learn differently. The police get the legislation they want and the taxpayers, their employers, get screwed. Stick to your enforcement jobs, officers.

    And we’re looking at other states, too, where we aren’t treated like children and sent to our cage by the police for growing, It’s retirement time for us.

  48. - Hey oh. - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    The police should be reqiuerd to poll their town prior to offering input. If 66% of your citiznes who pay your salary agree legaliztation is good, you shouldn’t be able to offer your opinion. Your public servants. So serve the public not private agendas.

  49. - darkstorm - Tuesday, May 14, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    if they remove the right to grow at home this can fail as far as im concerned and i hope that if it passes like that everyone boycotts the legal sales dept…would serve them right…its to easy and way cheaper to get on the streets……mommy may i smoke a joint…pffft

  50. - Leavings illinois - Friday, May 17, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    Police say they wouldn’t be able to tell who’s growing more than the legal limit but they can’t control it now not all illegal weed comes from other states but comes from right under their noses from people already growing in their homes hence the failed war on home grow is still prohibition plain and simple not everyone that grows is gonna make infused candies or concentrates they will still buy these products from time to time so your not losing that much revenue greedy people they are rant done

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