Money grubbing Illinois lawmakers see dollar signs in legalization of recreational marijuana

By The Madison County Record | Mar 6, 2018

To the Editor:

Illinois lawmakers are seriously looking at and even pushing for the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. On Monday, Jan. 22, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle testified at a state Senate and House public health hearing on legalizing cannabis for adult use at the Bilandic Building. Preckwinkle favors legalizing pot, pointing to racial disparities in enforcement.

Recently, East Dundee Republican State Rep. Allen Skillicorn co-sponsored a bill introduced by Chicago Democratic state Rep. Kelly Cassidy to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state.

I was fortunate to have attended, as a Phyllis Schlafly Eagle, the historic 50th anniversary meeting of the Gathering of Eagles from Jan 18-20 in St. Louis.

During this year’s Gathering of Eagle, reports were given by those who represent state chapters of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. Susan Ellsworth's spoke of the detrimental effects of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana.

In keeping with the push to legalize recreational marijuana here in Illinois, many deceptive arguments were likewise perpetrated on Coloradans to get medical, and then recreational marijuana legislation passed in 2012, even then by only a very narrow margin.

What has really happened is set forth below since that fateful election day in 2012 when recreational marijuana was sanctioned in Colorado through Amendment 63, including issues you may or may not have considered. 

Schools

Teacher unions bought into the provision that the first $40 million of taxes collected on pot sales would be earmarked for the state’s education system for construction of schools. This has yet to happen after four years of collecting millions of dollars of tax revenue.

Now, news articles scream that pot usage by students in Colorado’s schools is the #1 problem! The Rand Corp. poll reports that two of every five college students are regular users, causing a dramatic increase in the drop-out rate. Regular use of the substance has proven to lower the IQ by 8 points.

Strasburg, a small city in eastern Colorado, as reported to us (Jayne and Jim Schindler) by a school board member there, is finding that one third of their expelled students is a result of marijuana usage. They now have regular visits from drug enforcement agencies with drug sniffing dogs, patrolling the classrooms and parking lots, searching lockers and backpacks. We were told that lunch breaks find kids piling into cars in the parking lot, rolling the windows up, and lighting up! Re-inhaling the trapped smoke within the car is called ‘stovepiping’ resulting in a quicker and more intense ‘high’. On their return to the classrooms they are out of control, causing the teachers to be fearful and unable to teach.

Lawsuits

Two of Colorado’s bordering states have sued for damages caused by marijuana coming across their borders and depleting their resources for law enforcement to encounter other crimes. Entering their states with a Colorado license plate makes you a target for a ‘stop and search’!

Crime

The lie that legalization would reduce crime has proven false. Black market pot is cheaper than the taxed substance. Robberies of pot shops is a daily occurrence as they are a cash business which by law are not allowed to have bank accounts. However, the state has become the money launderer as the tax money received ‘can’ be deposited into the state coffers. It’s reported that there are more pot shops than liquor stores, and that lower income areas are targeted for store locations. Crimes against persons is on the increase, as are burglaries and robberies. Legalization has impacted the operations of drug cartels in the state, so they have shifted gears and are now enjoying their gains from sales of opioids which is now called an epidemic from their dramatic increases in usage, not to mention the added crimes generated by the new craze hitting the streets and destroying lives.

Insurance

Auto insurance premiums are skyrocketing because of the number of auto accidents resulting from driving high!

Health

It’s been reported that half of all babies admitted to the Pueblo hospital, particularly emergency room visits, are addicted to marijuana related to their addicted mothers.

Marijuana ‘edibles’ made to look like candies and cookies have children targeted as their market base.

People suffering from cancer treatment nausea can be given marijuana to stop the vomiting reflex. However, kids who consume alcohol paired with smoking joints also have their gag reflex suppressed and cannot expel the excess alcohol and are dying from alcohol poisoning.

Mold

The demand for legalized pot has created a new cottage industry of illegal grow houses throughout the state. Many folks are growing the stuff in their homes where high humidity is a by-product causing homes to be destroyed by mold and pesticide usage.

Resources

Pot growing is a real drain on electricity and water. Colorado has long been known for growing peaches, cantaloupe, and corn. The new industry of hemp farming is about to cause a water war on the western slope as the hemp growers are trying to take the water from the fruit growers. One might ask where all the environmentalists are in all of this?

Government

Legalizing pot was supposed to reduce government overreach, but the truth is that the time taken by local, state and county governments to regulate and enforce the sales and distribution has been astronomical. An example would be determining how much can be consumed before an individual is considered legally impaired and cited with a DWMI (driving while marijuana impaired)?

We have learned that the tobacco industry wants to start packaging marijuana joints for over the counter sales. One might ask, why not? Given the convoluted rationale that tobacco smoke is bad, while marijuana smoke is apparently good for you, why not?

Homeless

Colorado is experiencing a boom in our population growth, many of whom came expressly to smoke pot, not for a home or a job. They have been a tremendous drain on public resources. The PC police have now redefined the homeless and transient population as "travelers," This re-defining creates a new class of people who, according to state government, are entitled to benefits of food, housing, clothing, etc., all of course at taxpayer expense. Since legalization of pot recently took hold in California where so many of our travelers originated, we are hopeful that they travel back where they came from!

Workforce

Businesses, the military, and importantly law enforcement, have a very difficult time finding people who can pass a drug test. The suggestion that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol doesn’t hold up as pot consumption stays in the body for days whereas alcohol leaves within hours. As a sidebar, once an individual passes the drug test, other issues arise such as functional illiteracy that is now requiring the hiring entity to establish remedial education classes! Yes, it’s really that difficult even to hire moderately qualified people. When you read how wonderful it is that Colorado has now collected in excess of a billion dollars in taxes from pot sales, what that really indicates is that at any given time a large portion of the citizenry is high while trying to perform their normal daily functions.

Colorful Colorado, once known for its beautiful mountains and geological wonders is now known as the drug capital of the world and all the negative trappings that go with that title.

John Denver’s song ‘Rocky Mountain High” seems to have become Colorado's swan song beckoning druggies around the globe to Coloweedo!

The negative effects of legalization can be accessed from the Colorado Christian University. The University has hosted several conferences on marijuana harms by providing many experts from the medical and psychological community to law enforcement, providing statistics and documentation. They are warning that if Americans don’t act now, in 10 years we will not be able to take care of all those who are mentally ill, citizens whose bodies may still function, however their minds are gone.

Our enemies must be thrilled that America, with the approval of many of its state legislators and citizens, is willing to kill herself for them. 

For those who say it's impossible to put the genie back in the bottle as recreational marijuana has wide acceptance, I say hog-wash to this!  If the public knew the truth they would fight back against Illinois legislators who see the legalization of marijuana only in terms of the money it might net Illinois, and not about the detrimental effects upon its citizens. Shame on them!

Nancy Thorner

Lake Bluff, Ill.

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