* As is noted in the Sun-Times, I told my subscribers about this story earlier in the week…
In a promotional video advertising her online cannabis investment workshops, state Sen. Patricia Van Pelt assured those who would attend that she wants to “help some people get rich.”
The video, posted online in January, shows Van Pelt talking to a crowd about the prospect of becoming “marijuana millionaires” and says her knowledge of the industry will help people invest in it and make money.
Less than four months later, those seminars and another cannabis-related business Van Pelt is involved with are being investigated by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, a source confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times.
It’s unclear exactly why the investigation was launched. But as Van Pelt was marketing the investment seminars and leading a company that intends to obtain licenses to grow and sell marijuana in the state, she also was named as co-sponsor of a bill to legalize the drug statewide.
After Van Pelt’s investments in cannabis-related businesses were made public last week in a report by WCIA in Champaign, the Chicago Democrat swiftly removed herself as a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 7, the measure that would lift Illinois’ prohibition on recreational weed. She had been listed as a co-sponsor for just over a week.
In an interview, Van Pelt downplayed her role in shaping the bill and said she removed herself because she didn’t want to become a “lightning rod” for criticism of the legalization effort. […]
While Van Pelt told the Sun-Times that she wouldn’t be involved in shaping the legalization bill, she has not committed to abstaining from votes on the measure.
* This is what she told me last week about withdrawing her co-sponsorship…
I’ll be reviewing the legislation once it’s in its final form to determine if I should vote on the bill. It doesn’t make sense to be a chief cosponsor of a bill that I may not end up voting for