On April 17, the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 001, often referred to as "medical marijuana" legislation, by a vote of 61-57 in favor. The legislation has passed a Senate committee and is next expected to be called for a vote in the Senate sometime during the next few weeks. As a law enforcement official for 37 years and the chief of police in Deerfield for 12 years, I find it imperative to voice my concerns concerning this pending legislation with members of the community.
As proposed, the legislation includes the following provisions: allows 18-year-olds (high school seniors) to get medical marijuana cards without a parent's permission, allows qualifying medical marijuana patients to get 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14-day period or 13 "joints" per day (with this much marijuana, diversion of the extra will become problematic), allows a qualified medical marijuana patient to drive under the influence of marijuana unless found to be "impaired" (enforcement of "impaired" becomes very problematic), and does not allow local government to prohibit the cultivation, dispensing and use of medical cannabis as authorized (a dispensing site could come to your community).
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These points are just some of the "high" lights proposed. The village of Deerfield has long been an advocate of programs designed to teach and educate students and parents about drug use and the potential pitfalls and addictions that can result. The community has historically been a recognized leader through parent groups like "Deerfield Citizens for Drug Awareness" and most recently "Parents. The Anti-Drug."
Passage of such legislation is contrary to what members of the community have striven to achieve for years concerning the use of illicit drugs. I strongly urge all members of the community to contact their local state Senate and House representatives to voice opposition to this proposed legislation.
John J. Sliozis
Chief of Police