Illinois Partners is a coalition of autonomous voices whose mission is to educate, network, collaborate, convene, strengthen, and mobilize organizations from different sectors across Illinois to counteract misinformation about marijuana and legalized marijuana.
The Partners give a united voice to all who would speak out to protect the children and families of Illinois. Its members include: Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, Chicago HIDTA, other law enforcement groups, Illinois Churches in Action, Student Resource Officers, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Park District of Franklin Park, Prevention First, businesses, educators, drug prevention groups, public health groups, community coalitions, drug treatment groups, physicians, and public policy groups.
Illinois Partners is always looking for new Partners who are interested in following marijuana policy and want current fact-checked information. Illinois Partners meets once a month.
Illinois lawmakers are considering passing “recreational marijuana.” This will mean surrendering ALL CHILDREN to the unintended consequences of marijuana by: exposing kids to the commercialization of marijuana, enticing use with marijuana edibles, not recognizing and disregarding all of the dangers associated with marijuana use, suffering the pain of a child’s drug use, and placing a child in unsafe surroundings. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic which came about due to a poor decision on the part of leaders who didn’t understand addiction. Now we are about to see the uncontrolled availability of another addicting drug.
- “Recreational Cannabis” could legally flood neighborhoods making it easy for kids to get. Anyone 21 or over can possess 30 grams of marijuana, enough to make 75 joints. In addition, they can grow 5 plants with the potential of making 11,200 joints. Marijuana is more potent today. In 1988 the THC, psychoactive ingredient, level was 4% and today is 30%.
- With “Recreational Cannabis” comes aggressive “Commercialization.” Businesses exploit kids looking for new users. In a minority area of one Denver town, there is one marijuana shop for every 47 residents. Oregon has a problem with merchants selling marijuana to kids.
- Cannabis is marketed to kids through camouflaged edibles: brownies, cookies, gummy candies, and cereal. One Gummy Bear contains 40 to 200mg of THC. A recommended THC dose is 10mg. Who would eat 1/4th to 1/20th of a Gummy Bear?
- Camouflaged Weed, or edibles, is appearing in schools and making schools a playground for getting “high.” Edibles are easily concealed.
- Marijuana is addictive. One in six who start in their teens will become addicted.
- Marijuana impairs learning, motor coordination, perception, judgment, thinking and memory. Adolescents’ brains are not fully developed until their mid-twenties.
- In Illinois, teenagers can drive at 16 years, traffic fatalities from drivers using marijuana in Colorado have more than doubled since legalization.
Police Chief Terry Lemming, Lockport, IL
I contacted police chiefs from all of the states that have recreational cannabis laws.
Las Vegas, NV, Director Chuck Calloway, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department:
Nevada began their recreational cannabis law on 1-1-17. The retail sales of recreational cannabis began on July 1st of 2017. Almost immediately there were robberies and burglaries of retail establishments in Las Vegas. From July 1 to mid-August, there were 13 burglaries and robberies of retail establishments. Retail cannabis sales is a cash business and criminals know this.
In the short time that the retail sales began, Las Vegas has had two high profile fatal vehicle crashes attributed to cannabis.
From July 1st to mid-August of this year Las Vegas Metro responded to 250 calls for service at retail cannabis stores. All of the retail cannabis stores are in lower income areas and none are in affluent areas.
Colorado Springs, CO, Police Chief Pete Carey:
Chief Carey warned that recreational cannabis will bring organized crime groups that will also be involved in other crimes such as identity theft, financial fraud and shop lifting.
Gardena, CA, Police Chief Ed Medrano:
Chief Medrano advised that since the recreational law went into effect, there has been a significant increase in illegal home grows where organized criminal groups rent homes and use every room to grow cannabis. In many cases the alterations to the home ruin it for future occupancy. They have also seen an increase in burglaries and robberies of illegal grow operations where large amounts of cannabis is taken.
Walpole, MA, Police Chief John Carmichael:
Chief Carmichael also said that the presence of organized crime has increased from when Massachusetts had only medical cannabis and his prediction is that Massachusetts will be supplying the east coast with marijuana grown in Massachusetts and illegally diverted to other states until other east coast states have recreational laws.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Peter Newsham:
Chief Newsham said that a common problem is complaints from those living in apartment buildings. Residents complain that smoked cannabis is emanating through the vents of apartments not using cannabis, with children present. Unfortunately, the law allows this and the DC police cannot do anything about it.
Police Chief James Kruger, Oak Brook, IL, President Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP)
I am here today on behalf of the1,300 members, representing over 900 communities of the Illinois Chiefs to register our deep concern and opposition to the potential of a recreational marijuana law in the state of Illinois.
We are concerned with the overall potential for an increase in crime. There has been much said about the potential for the reduction of crime based upon the belief that police officers will not be concentrating on lower level marijuana possession arrests thus allowing them more time for the investigation of more serious criminal activity, but our Colorado and Washington colleagues have told us that the opposite is true. Make no mistake, the gangs and drug cartels are criminal business enterprises and where there is the loss of one market, they will and have found another.
The second concern is public health. Business owners are concerned with the potential employee injuries and worker’s comp claims leading to losses in productivity and erasing any potential increases in the alleged economic boost that recreational marijuana would bring to local economies. We must recognize that the THC level today is much greater than what it was 10 or 20 years ago and that with the availability of edibles, placing children also at risk.
The most worrisome concern is traffic safety. The truth is fatal traffic crashes are on the rise in Colorado and unfortunately they are also on the rise in Illinois without recreational marijuana. A recent article from the Denver Post cited that between 2013 and 2015, while the presence of alcohol in fatal crashes grew 17%, those testing positive for marijuana jumped 145%.
Another startling fact in the article is that a lab in Colorado that tests for marijuana found 80% of results were for active THC indicating use within hours of when the sample was taken, removing the argument of THC staying in the blood stream for a week to mislead the real risk to the motoring public.