Carpentersville to hold medical marijuana meeting
With Gov. Pat Quinn saying he's "open minded" about signing into law the legalization of marijuana for medical use, Carpentersville leaders are meeting Tuesday to discuss what that could mean for the village.
Depending on where the talk goes, trustees might also be in a position to give staff members the direction they need to regulate it.
Village President Ed Ritter acknowledged he has mixed feelings about the state's pending legislation, but said he's willing to adapt.
"Anything has a potential to be abused but there's enough information that medical marijuana is a useful tool for doctors, (and) I'm willing to change with the times," Ritter said. "And if that's a direction the medical community wants to take and it is strictly regulated so it's only used as it's intended, then I'm fine with it."
In May, the state Senate endorsed a measure to approve marijuana for medical use. It now awaits Quinn's signature.
Under the proposal, patients would need to have one of more than 30 serious diseases to use marijuana legally in the state. The qualifying diseases include cancer, HIV and AIDS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
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.
Ritter has several questions he wants to put to trustees and the village attorney about the drug.
He wants to see whether the village could restrict where it's grown and purchased and if Carpentersville could tax the drug.
"We're just wanting to get out in front and find out what the rules might be from the state and what kind of rules we can add on and how to regulate it to come to Carpentersville," Ritter said. "It's just simply discussing and figuring out where the board is at on this issue."
It won't be the first time Carpentersville takes up an issue that involves marijuana.
In 2011, the board decided to ticket rather than arrest people caught with less than 30 grams of the substance. Those citations come with fines that range between $75 and $1,000, said Al Popp, Carpentersville's director of public safety.
Anyone found with more than 30 grams is arrested and subsequently charged in most cases.