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Illinois Partners include: Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, Prevention First, Chicago HIDTA, Illinois Family Institute, Illinois Churches in Action, other law enforcement groups, educators, drug prevention groups, drug treatment groups, physicians and public policy groups. EVI works with these groups to develop and co-sponsor educational programs on marijuana to be presented to the public.

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 HB3235 Puts More Drugs on Illinois Streets by Raising the Amounts of Drugs

Constituting an Offense

While Decreasing Penalties for Drug Offenses

 

When access to drugs is increased (via lowered price, decriminalization, positive social norms), use and dependency also increase, leading to a number of personal and societal problems. Public policy should protect the health, safety and well-being of citizens and not contribute to these issues. 

 

Understandably, in decreasing sentencing for the drug offenses, this bill aims to alleviate concerns related to over-incarceration.  According to law enforcement sources, however, virtually no one is in prison for straight "personal use" drug possession charges and convictions.  People who show a drug possession conviction and are sentenced to prison are:

·        persons who were caught selling or trafficking drugs and were offered a deal to plead guilty to the lesser offense of "possession" in exchange for a lighter sentence than if convicted of narcotics distribution,

·        people who were found to be in possession of a large amount of drugs, much more than personal use, and were or could be charged with possession with intent to deliver,

·        and, to a lesser degree, people with multiple prior offenses where a judge deems prison time is warranted.

 

 

Against the backdrop of heroin overdoses devastating communities across the state, the current bill proposes the following amendments.

 

Heroin — Unlawful to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance

- HB3235 reduces the penalties for heroin anywhere from 50% to 77% depending upon the amount of grams involved.

- A kilo costs $60,000 to $70,000. There are 5 doses in just 1 gram. Offenses for different amounts of heroin range from 15 grams to 900 grams or more. 15 to 900 grams is equivalent to 75 to 4,500 bags of heroin prepared for illegal distribution. At $10/bag, distributers can make about a $45,000 profit.

- The penalty for manufacturing, delivering or possessing 900 grams, 4,500 bags of heroin, is reduced from between 15 and 60 years to between 4 and 15 years.

 

Fentanyl also contributes to the overdose trend, as it is much more potent than heroin and is often mixed with the drug due to its powerful effects.

 

Fentanyl — Unlawful, to manufacture or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance

- Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Yet, it carries the same penalties as heroin.

- Offenses for different amounts range from 15 grams to 900 grams or more. These amounts translate to 75 to 4,500 .2-gram bags on the street.

- Fentanyl, sells for $5,000 a kilo and is used as a cutting agent for heroin increasing drug traffickers and dealers’ profit margins.

- A 3-milligram dose of fentanyl is enough to kill an average-sized adult male (there are 1,000 milligrams per gram).

- HB3235 reduces penalties for fentanyl anywhere from 50% to 77% depending upon the amount of grams involved.

 

 

 

 Cannabis — Unlawful to possess cannabis

- Penalties reduced anywhere from 50% to 80% depending upon the amount of grams involved. Under HB3235, possession of up to 30 grams is a civil law violation which carries no penalty other than a fine not to exceed $125.

-  Offenses for different amounts of cannabis range from not more than 30 grams to MORE than 5,000 grams. 30 grams is about a solid sandwich bag full. 500 grams goes for about $900. Cannabis with high levels of THC may go for $2,500 to $3,000 a pound. The THC level can reach over 80%. Cannabis edibles in the form of cookies, brownies, and candies are becoming popular.

 

Oxycodone — Unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance

-HB3235 reduces penalties for oxycodone at least 73%.

- Offenses are for 100 grams. On the street, one pill is 8mg, so 100 grams is the same as 12,500 pills. At $10/pill, someone could make a profit of up to $125,000 at this amount.

 

Methamphetamine — Knowingly participating in the manufacture of methamphetamine with intent to produce methamphetamine

- Offenses for different amounts of Methamphetamine range from 15 grams to MORE than 900 grams. This translates to 1,500-90,000 doses.

- Methamphetamine sells for $60 to $90 a gram, in southern Illinois and 900 grams of Meth would yield $54,000 to $81,000.

- HB3235 reduces penalties anywhere from 25% to 53% depending upon the amount of grams involved.

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HB3715 Emboldens STUDENTS to Bring Cannabis on School Grounds

by Exempting “Enrolled Students” From

Any Penalty

The bill provides penalties for people delivering cannabis on school grounds BUT EXEMPTS “ENROLLED STUDENTS” FROM ANY PENALTY for delivering cannabis in schools, on school buses or school property.

An “enrolled student” is a student registered at a public, private, or charter school or at a public or private college, community college, or university.

Who could possibly want this for their children?

 Marijuana is addictive. Each year, two-thirds of new marijuana users are under the age of 18. One in six of these adolescents will go on to develop marijuana use or dependence.
 Marijuana is much more potent, today. In 1998 the average THC level was 4.4%. Today, the THC content is around 15% but can reach 30% with high-tech growing methods.
Concentrated super strength marijuana is a THC rich product reaching over 80% THC. It can be procured through extraction by using solvents to strip the cannabinoids from the marijuana plant resulting in the THC rich product.
 Marijuana-infused food products contain the concentrated super strength marijuana and can cause marijuana poisoning.
 Neuropsychological decline appears in adolescents after persistent marijuana use. Adolescents’ brains are not fully developed and don’t fully develop until the early to mid-twenties, making them vulnerable to long-term changes in the brain. There is a higher risk of psychosis and schizophrenia symptoms. .
 Marijuana can impair driving and motor coordination, learning, perception, judgment, thinking, and memory. Marijuana use can lead to poor attendance, dropping out of school, delinquency and behavioral problems.

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 HB3715 exempts students, “enrolled students,” from any legal

consequences for delivering cannabis in public, private, or charter

schools or at public or private colleges, community colleges, or

universities, on school buses or school property.

 

MARIJUANA PRIMES THE BRAIN FOR OTHER DRUGS —

People addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be

addicted to heroin. 1

 

  • Marijuana is a gateway drug. Marijuana is a high-inducing drug that compromises the reward system in the brain by stimulating the pleasure chemical, dopamine which subsequently leads people to need marijuana to feel reward. Marijuana use dampens the brain’s response to reward over time and may actually open marijuana users up to more risk of becoming addicted to that drug or others. 2 
  • A Yale study showed that alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana were associated with an increased likelihood of prescription drug abuse in men 18 – 25. In women of that age, only marijuana use was linked with a higher likelihood of prescription drug abuse. 3 
  • People susceptible to taking drugs are more likely to begin with readily accessible drugs, such as marijuana. Sharing the drug using experience with others increases chances of trying different drugs. 4

 

  • HB3715 is a serious threat to Illinois kids, young people and families!
    • After alcohol, marijuana has the highest rate of dependence or abuse among all drugs. 5
    • Most people using drugs began when they were teens, and more than half of new illicit drug users started with marijuana. 6
    • Drug use is highest among people in their late teens and twenties.7

  

1 Robert L. DuPont, Marijuana Has Proven to Be a Gateway Drug, New York Times, April 26, 2016.

2 Meghan E. Martz, Association of Marijuana Use With Blunted Nucleus Accumbens Response to Reward Anticipation, University of Michigan Health System, JAMA Psychiatry, 2016.

3 Lynn Fiellin, MED ’96, Yale University School of Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, August 20, 2012. www.thecrimereport.org/archive/2012-08-pot-as-gateway-drug  

4 National Institute of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Is marijuana a gateway drug?, January 2917

5, 6, 7 National Institute of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse, About the Survey, June 2015.

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