SPOTLIGHT: Is Illinois Going to Pot?

Written by David E. Smith

In this week’s edition of Illinois Family Spotlight, Monte Larrick and Dave Smith sit down to talk with Bishop Lance Davis about the push to legalize recreational marijuana.  Bishop Davis is the senior pastor of New Zion Covenant Church in Dolton, Illinois and chairman of the African American Clergy Coalition.

Last year, Illinois State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois (HB 2353) and began holding public hearings on the issue to build support and excitement for this insidious policy.  At an April 2017, subject matter public hearing on Tax and Regulation Structure for Cannabis in Illinois, these left-wing sponsors would not allow public testimony. Previously confirmed expert witnesses, including Peter Bensinger, former DEA Administrator under three presidents; Celeste Napier, Ph.D., from Rush, an expert on the impact of marijuana on young people’s brains; Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel; and Chuck Marting from Colorado who would testify on the impact of marijuana on students and employers had all registered to testify, but were denied the opportunity. Instead, a Colorado marijuana program rep spoke for close to two hours.

In December, Cook County board members approved a non-binding referendum on this issue for the March 20th primary election.  Their plan is to put tremendous pressure on state lawmakers from the region to get them to legalize pot.  (More than half of our state lawmakers are from the Cook County area.)

we have witnessed over the last several years that the average person thinks the marijuana of today is the same as that of the 70’s – that it’s not any more harmful than a beer.

And that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

THC is the psycho-active, “high” causing component of marijuana. Consider the following facts:

  • THC levels were 2-3% in the 60’s-70’s.
  • THC levels of over 5% have caused addition.
  • THC levels of over 15% are considered “hard drugs” in Europe.
  • In today’s products, THC levels of 20%-90% are common.
  • THC potent products have caused impairment for days rather than hours.
  • THC potent products have caused psychotic episodes, hallucinations and poisonings sometimes resulting in death. (See enclosed paper)

Colorado voters passed recreational marijuana, Amendment 64, in 2012. The data from the Colorado Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Strategic Intelligence Unit shows us what we can expect in Illinois if lawmakers have their way. (The executive summary of Volume 5 is enclosed. Please contact me if you would like the entire volume – 176 pages.)

Here are a few of their findings:

  • Marijuana-related traffic deaths (when a driver was positive for marijuana) more than doubled (66 percent increase) from 55 deaths in 2013 to 123 deaths in 2016. During the same period, all traffic deaths increased 16 percent.
  • Colorado youth ranked #1 in the nation for past month marijuana use and 55 percent higher than the national average, which is up from #4 in 2011/2012 and #14 in 2005/2006.
  • Marijuana-related hospitalizations have increased 72 percent from the time of legalization of recreational.

There is so much more…

Essentially, if this reckless policy is approved, Illinois residents can expect are more drugged drivers on our roads, more drugged employees in the workplace and more drugs into the hands of our children.

We believe we can win this uphill battle if we can educate the public about the consequences of this policy, and bust the prevalent myths that are being perpetuated by proponents and thier allies in the media. The people of Illinois are not being told anything about the awful downside to this foolish policy.

Take ACTION: Click HERE to email your state rep and senator. Urge them to protect our children and grandchildren by voting NO on legalization. Suggest they put their focus on reducing spending and job creation rather than putting the next generation at great risk. Click HERE to send an email.

More ACTION:  Don’t stop at sending an email. Click HERE to find your state lawmakers’ district office phone numbers to call them while they are back in their districts until January 30th. If they receive enough opposition calls and emails from their constituents, they might do what’s right for Illinois families.

Attention Cook County residents: when you cast your ballot in the 2018 primary election, please make sure you VOTE NO on the referendum question to legalize recreational marijuana!

Learn more:

Resources on the Truth and Consequences of Marijuana

Bad to the Brain: Marijuana’s Effects of Adolescents

Illinois Police Give a Warning on Marijuana Legalization

Enticed by Illusions of Revenue, IL Lawmakers look to Legalize Recreational Pot

Vote NO on Cook County Pot Referendum Flyer

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