If and when Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill that legalizes medical marijuana in Illinois, Carpentersville's planning and zoning commission will devise parameters for its use, sale and possible growth in the village, trustees decided Tuesday night.
Quinn's signature would trigger a public hearing in Carpentersville in which commission members would discuss restrictions for medical marijuana and forward its recommendations onto the village board, which would take a vote at a later date.
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The commission would also discuss whether medical marijuana cultivation centers and distribution facilities would require a special use permit in the village.
The board approved the resolution by a unanimous vote. Village President Ed Ritter did not attend the meeting, as he is out of town. As well, Trustee Paul Humpfer, who previously expressed reservations about regulating medical marijuana in the village, arrived after Tuesday's vote had been taken.
But trustees Pat Schultz and Kevin Rehberg, who did not attend the last meeting on the issue, added their voices to the discussion Tuesday.
In their opinion, Illinois sees medical marijuana more as a moneymaker than as a way to help the sick ease their pain.
"It's unfortunate this is being looked at as a taxable situation instead of a medicinal situation, which is what this really is," Rehberg said. "I mean, if we had this on the agenda for aspirin, there would be people out in the parking lot to protest the taxes and the way that it's being regulated."
Schultz dubbed it a "plan gone wild," and expressed fears that the state could bloat the public payroll by hiring people to monitor the drug's growth and distribution.
"Once again, I'm upset that the state has foisted discussion on the local municipalities on moral issues here," Schultz said. "Frankly, there's not an altruistic bone in anyone's body down there in Springfield."
The state Senate endorsed a measure in May 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 for certain illnesses. 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.
If the bill becomes law in Illinois, every state police district would get a single marijuana growth operation. Moreover, 60 points of sale for the drug would be distributed throughout the state.
Ritter brought the issue to trustees at the last board meeting so Carpentersville would be ready in case Quinn signs the bill into law.
Ritter proposed restricting the sale and growth operations to indoor industrial areas to keep it out of the neighborhoods. Community Development Director Bill Hock said the village is among the first communities in the area to address the matter before it becomes law.