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May 19, 2013

Illinois on verge of becoming second biggest state to legalize medical marijuana

As reported in this Chicago Tribune article, only a Governor's veto now stands in the way of Illinois becoming the most populous state other than California to have legalized medical marijuana.  Here are the details:

The Senate today approved legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with serious illnesses, sending the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn. The issue pitted supporters arguing for compassion for those suffering from pain they say only cannabis can ease against opponents who contend the legislation would undermine public safety.

Sponsoring Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, argued the measure is one of the toughest in the nation. Haine said his bill does not reflect other states that have “sloppily” instituted medical marijuana laws. “This bill is filled with walls to keep this limited,” said Haine, a former Madison County state’s attorney.

Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, raised concerns about lawmakers endorsing a product that classified as a controlled substance by the federal government, arguing marijuana is a gateway drug that could lead users to harder substances....

The proposal would create a four-year trial program in which doctors could prescribe patients no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. To qualify, patients must have one of 42 serious or chronic conditions -- including cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV -- and an established relationship with a doctor.

Patients would undergo fingerprinting and a criminal background check and would be banned from using marijuana in public and around minors. Patients also could not legally grow marijuana, and they would have to buy it from one of 60 dispensing centers across Illinois. The state would license 22 growers.

The measure drew strong opposition from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association, which sent a letter to the governor and lawmakers warning the proposal would not stop medical marijuana card holders from driving while under the influence. They suggested blood and urine testing be included in the legislation to allow police to determine whether card holders had marijuana in their system while driving....

The Senate vote was 35-21, with 30 needed to pass the bill. It goes to Quinn, who has not indicated whether he will sign it. The Democratic governor recently said he is open minded to the legislation.

Though I have not tried to precisely run the numbers, I think the legalization of medical marijuana in Illinois would means that around half of Americans would be living in states with marijuana legalized for use under certain circumstances.  And, as I have suggested before, I think this fact is of potential constitutional significance.

May 19, 2013 at 05:28 PM | Permalink

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"Though I have not tried to precisely run the numbers, I think the legalization of medical marijuana in Illinois would means that around half of Americans would be living in states with marijuana legalized for use under certain circumstances."

The sentence would be more precise if it said: "Though I have not tried to precisely run the numbers, I think the legalization of medical marijuana under state law in Illinois would mean that around half of Americans would be living in states with marijuana legalized within the state for use under certain circumstances." ###

"And, as I have suggested before, I think this fact is of potential constitutional significance."

If there is any precedent in our 200-plus year history for the proposition that the feds cannot criminalize Behavior X because the state laws of states with half the population do not criminalize Behavior X, I don't know about it. Does anyone know of a case with such a holding?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 19, 2013 6:03:40 PM

1960

50 states: sodomy illegal.

2003

13 states: sodomy illegal

US Supreme Court: Lawrence V Kansas: Sodomy legal. (Anthony Kennedy changes his vote of 1986. He votes to legalize butt banging, a practice associated with the transmission of the HIV virus, and the deaths of 40 million people. He has cited the count of the states. )

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 19, 2013 10:09:43 PM

Correction: Lawrence v Texas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 19, 2013 10:14:16 PM

SC --

No federal statute was at issue in Lawerence, and in any event Justice Kennedy has shown a liberal attitude toward gay behavior that he has never shown toward pot use (e.g., he voted with the majority in Raich).

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 19, 2013 11:35:03 PM

-> "Officers say they found a marijuana pipe in Greene's front seat, and she pulled another from her bra.

-> "She also admitted to officers she had smoked a bowl of marijuana."

"The Johnson City Police Department says Goldie Jean Greene was swerving while driving, then was lethargic
and had slurred speech
when they pulled her over."
--| Pregnant teenager arrested for DUI | 5/17/13, wbir.com

Posted by: Adamakis | May 20, 2013 10:01:51 AM

Bill Otis, you're on the wrong side of history on this one. Give it up.

Posted by: onlooker | May 20, 2013 1:52:07 PM

onlooker --

"Bill Otis, you're on the wrong side of history on this one. We are going to have to contain, not defeat, the Soviet Union. Give it up." (circa 1987)

"Bill Otis, you're on the wrong side of history on this one. The death penalty is finished and ain't coming back. Give it up." (circa 1975)

"Bill Otis, you're on the wrong side of history on this one. The time for the Equal Rights Amendment is upon us. Give it up." (circa 1970's)

"Bill Otis, you're on the wrong side of history on this one. The Republican Party is done for. Give it up." (circa 1965)

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 20, 2013 3:07:58 PM

Bill Otis, did you really oppose the Equal Rghts Amendment?

Posted by: onlooker | May 20, 2013 8:01:07 PM

onlooker --

I opposed the Equal Rights for Pot Amendment, and still do.

Did you really support the Soviet Union?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 20, 2013 8:42:14 PM

@onlooker,

Why wouldn't he (or anyone else)be against it? It was a useless amendment that covered rights women already had via the 19th. Just like the contemporary "Violence Against Women Act", it is absurd to imply that being against either is analogous to being against equal rights or for domestic violence. I cannot speak for Bill, but I am just against terrible amendments and legislation.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 20, 2013 9:05:55 PM

Bill: Justice Kennedy cites "evolving standards of decency." The SCOTUS uses counts of states as one objective measure.

If the death penalty ends by statute in 30 states, the SCOTUS will end it as a national constitutional matter. It will never allow a penalty banned in the majority of the states. The irony, not lost on the SCOTUS, is that $billions in lawyer jobs doing DP appellate work will also end. The Court has finely tuned its decision to maintain the current stalled condition because it is the maximum way to generate jobs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 21, 2013 9:30:23 AM

TarisQtr1,

"Why wouldn't he (or anyone else)be against it? It was a useless amendment that covered rights women already had via the 19th. Just like the contemporary "Violence Against Women Act", it is absurd to imply that being against either is analogous to being against equal rights or for domestic violence."

Wells said for a man. If you and Bill Otis were women, you'd sing a different tune. Strong argument were made at the time that the Bill of Rights were useless amendments as well.

Posted by: onlooker | May 21, 2013 10:32:20 AM

onlooker stated: "Wells said for a man. If you and Bill Otis were women, you'd sing a different tune. Strong argument were made at the time that the Bill of Rights were useless amendments as well."

There are too many logical fallacies buried to get to them all. First, my gender is irrelevant.

Second, whether or not the Bill of Rights was debated as "useless" is irrelevant to whether the ERA or VAWA are useful.

I notice that you did not dare to provide one benefit the ERA would have brought to women. Employment laws were already gender neutral. However, it would have made women eligible for the draft, stopped alimony checks, and ceased widow SS benefits.

The Violence Against Women Act is another joke. There are already domestic violence laws in all 50 states. The notion that swearing at your wife or raising your voice to her is "violence" is absurdly bad legislation (especially on the Federal level).

Apparently, as long as someone puts a "Save the Puppies" type name on a bill you are certain to support it.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 21, 2013 11:37:39 AM

If you and Bill Otis were puppies, you'd sing a different tune.

Posted by: Adamakis | May 21, 2013 12:48:37 PM

bo & tq...

dinosaurs seeking a purpose in life

Posted by: ernie | May 21, 2013 6:26:07 PM

ernie --

My purpose in life -- professional life, anyway -- was, in part, to help achieve justice for, among others, the sleazy, fast money drug pushers that it's your purpose in life to applaud.

I'll take my purpose, and you can have yours.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 21, 2013 8:11:55 PM

Adamakis --

If TarlsQtr1 and I were pit bulls, onlooker would be singing a VERY different tune.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 21, 2013 8:17:33 PM

Ernie,

If truth be told, I completely take your statement as a compliment. Dedication to my faith, family, and constitution may make me bit of a 19th century anachronism and cliche, but I am OK with that.

I experience the results of my "dinosaur" mentality every single day when I see my son next to the feral children of the 21st century "parents."

My son treats EVERYONE with respect, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, or religion. He does this not because of a politically correct amendment or law with a "If You Do Not Support It You Want Women Beaten" name but because that is what he has been taught by both the Bible and his parents.

A society on the right moral path has no need for ERA or VAWA.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 22, 2013 9:09:50 AM

TarIsQtr:
There's a banner waving saying 'tolerance will set you free', it's the latest thing
While the consequences it leaves behind are like a ball and chain
But there's a voice in everyone called Conscience
That's been around since God created man
And as we learn to listen to its whispering
We'll find the greatest freedom when, we stand up and sing:

I'm dancing with the dinosaur
Living my life with Conscience and Conviction
I don't want to see the Truth ignored
So I gotta keep on dancing
I gotta keep on dancing with the dinosaur

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaJMU1M5pAc
www.lyricsmania.com/dancing_with_the_dinosaur_lyrics_stephen_curtis_chapman.html

Posted by: Adamakis | May 22, 2013 2:45:55 PM

oops...forgot one extremely pompous too

Posted by: ernie | May 22, 2013 7:59:18 PM

Perhaps, but nowhere do you show me to be WRONG.

Posted by: Tarlsqtr1 | May 24, 2013 7:27:04 AM

"oops...forgot one extremely pompous too"


You mean pompousaraus, don't you? : )

That said, I near fell off my dinosaur when I found myself agreeing with Tarlsasaurus on something.


VAWA is a very stupid thing. I'm to young to recall whether or not the ERA was as dumb and dangerous.

Posted by: 8th Amendment | Jun 1, 2013 12:16:12 AM

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