Medical marijuana is not a new issue for the Illinois legislature, but past failures to pass such a bill are not discouraging Rep. Louis Lang. The Democratic legislator re-introduced the idea for 2013 in the form of HB-1, known as Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which is now in the Rules Committee.
Eighteen states already recognize the medicinal use of marijuana, but it remains illegal according to the federal government. This despite the fact that the Constitution delegates no power to the feds to regulate a plant grown within the borders of a state.
“The whole ‘war on drugs’ is blatantly unconstitutional. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “Basically, 18 states told the feds to go pound sand. They went ahead and did what their people wanted them to do regarding weed, despite the federal power grab. And that’s how it should work. States should simply tell the feds, ‘No!’ when the DC’vers overstep their constitutional authority. Kudos to all of the states with medical marijuana programs, and kudos to bold lawmakers like the folks in Illinois for attempting to stand up to the feds. It’s great to see Democrats hopping on the nullification bandwagon.”
Two communities, Buffalo Grove and Lake in the Hills, are exploring options on how best to face the impact of the HB-1. If Medical Cannabis passes, they will look at zoning regulations and see about proposing new ones.
The reason for preparation as opposed to confrontation may be due to two factors. In the last election, Democrats won super majorities in both the State Senate and House, meaning the outdated “gateway drug” arguing Republicans will be less of a threat. Also, 16 states plus the District of Columbia have relaxed enforcement or completely exempted medical pot while Colorado and Washington have fully legalized the plant, so the taboo is all but gone.
Rep. Lang has declared Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act “the strongest, most highly regulated and controlled proposal for medical marijuana ever drafted in the United States.” HB-1 may not be laissez-faire and its name suggests a short-term policy (details of the bill are yet to be released), but it would be a nullification of federal prohibition.
If you live in Illinois, contact legislators on the Rules Committee and ask them to push this bill forward. Click here and you will see there are two Republicans, three Democrats awaiting your calls.