The Illinois State Capitol had a hearing to discuss the positives and negatives of recreational legalization.
Illinois took a look at how legal marijuana has affected other states, according to Fox Illinois. Law enforcement officials say that illegal home growth has increased in legal states. They also report that use of marijuana around children in private homes has also increased.
Senator Dale Righter said, “I saw lots of young people who smoked marijuana and didn’t go any further, but I never saw one that was on a harder drug who didn’t start with marijuana.”
Representative Kelly Cassidy said, “[There was] evidence that non-medical legalization in Washington and Oregon may have led to a drop in rape and murder rates.”
Some brought up the matter of the testing process for marijuana and how expensive it is.
Terry Lemming of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police said, “Testing for cannabis requires it…to be sent to a private lab, which costs the Illinois police departments hundreds of dollars per test.”
Some say that lessons from alcohol prohibition should be learned as they support the end of marijuana prohibition.
Neil Franklin of Law Enforcement Action Partnership said, “I don’t think that worked very well for us as a nation. That’s why we ended it after 13 years of it being in place.”
The biggest concern was stoned drivers cluttering roadways.
Sangamon County State Attorney John Milhiser said, “I will then have to go, like I did for the last several years, to a mom to tell her 16-year-old daughter who’s been driving for a month was just killed on the road by somebody who had alcohol and cannabis in his system.”
Additional public hearings are planned for the future regarding recreational marijuana legalization. One hearing will be focused on public health and the other’s focus will be economic development.