Illinois state lawmakers looked at legalizing recreational marijuana this past legislative session, but it appears their hopes went up in smoke. Maybe next year, its champions said.
It’s a little surprising they didn’t do it because 60 percent of us apparently think it’s just fine to get high as a pastime. Lawmakers running for re-electon Nov. 6 might have given themselves a little campaign boost: “Yeah, we raised your income taxes by one-third, but we also gave you something to numb the pain.”
Speaking of which, marijuana is close to being more accepted than prescription painkillers. A bill is headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk that would approve medical use of marijuana for temporary pain relief. It is considered less addictive than opioids.
The relaxed attitudes are swirling through the region, with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announcing her office is reviewing 1,200 cases of possessing 100 grams or less and won’t prosecute new cases unless there are extenuating circumstances. In case you aren’t sure how much 100 grams of pot is, it’s a lot — nearly a quarter pound.
“We’ve got a name for somebody riding around with 100 grams of marijuana in their car — a drug dealer,” said Jeff Roorda, a leader in the St. Louis Police officers’ union.
By comparison, Illinois fines people $125 when