Editor's note: Story updated June 5 to correct information about how many sites there would be for growing medical marijuana.
If Gov. Pat Quinn signs the law that allows the use of medical marijuana in Illinois, Carpentersville leaders will be ready.
Contact information ( * required )
Tuesday night, the board agreed to restrictions that would regulate where medical marijuana could be bought and force growers and sellers to first secure a special permit.
Trustees will vote June 18 on the resolution that outlines the new rules. The resolution wouldn't kick in until Quinn signs the larger law.
But senior Trustee Paul Humpfer suggested his colleagues had no problem with a medical marijuana growth operation coming to Carpentersville because they were setting up guidelines to govern it.
"Maybe I'm getting conflicting messages from some of my fellow board members, but some of you want to roll out the welcome mat and I am very much against that," Humpfer said.
On Tuesday, trustees agreed to limit the growth and sale of the drug to indoor industrial areas. This would keep it away from the neighborhoods, let patients buy it in privacy and give the village tighter controls over where it's allowed, Village President Ed Ritter said.
Requests for those operations would also require a special use permit, which means the applicant would go through the village's planning and zoning commission, then to the village board for final approval. In May, the state senate endorsed a measure to approve marijuana for medical use. Quinn has said he's "open-minded" about it becoming law but has yet to sign it.
Under the proposal, a patient could have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana per week, and a doctor who has an ongoing relationship with the patient would have to prescribe the drug. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia have similar laws. Carpentersville Village Attorney Hart Passman said Illinois' version of the law is among the strictest in the country.
If the law becomes a reality, each state police district would receive a single marijuana growth operation, Passman said. Carpentersville lies within the second state police district, which includes Kane, McHenry, DuPage, Lake and DeKalb counties. As well, 60 points of sale would be geographically dispersed throughout the state, Passman said.
But if a growing operation comes to Carpentersville, Humpfer fears it would stress the police department. "Our gang situation in town I think is under control and I don't want to exacerbate it," Humpfer said. "Ths is going to be a place that's going to be targeted, and they'll try to steal stuff ... this is some pretty powerful stuff that in the wrong hands is going to make them a lot of money."
Public Safety Director Al Popp doesn't see it being an issue with local law enforcement if the operation is restricted to industrial areas.
Ritter, meanwhile, disagreed with Humpfer's contention that the village was rolling out the red carpet for medical marijuana. Ritter said he only brought it up so Carpentersville would be prepared if and when it becomes law.
"We have to do something to make it allowable, but we don't have to make it inviting," Ritter said.