Today the House voted 66-47 with 2 Present to legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis. Below is a statement from State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee):
“The 79th District is split on the issue of the legalization of recreational use of cannabis for adults. For months, I’ve been meeting with advocates in support and opposition and studied the issue at length. Both sides of the argument have merit.
However, I concluded prohibition is not working and with the current Governor and legislature, it is clear our state is already on a path for legalizing adult use cannabis.
So, I was one of a few Republicans to take a seat at the table to push for and obtain important changes to improve the bill and protect our state through stronger public safety measures, more taxpayer and workplace protections, local control and revenue, and commitment to mental health and substance abuse services.
Will there be problems? Absolutely. But, we face many of those same problems now and we are facing them without appropriate regulation, resources, or revenue.
Cannabis prohibition is simply no longer working. The illicit market is too large to successfully repress. The choice is not whether to make cannabis available, but whether its production and use should be legal and regulated or illegal and unregulated.
To be sure, Cannabis is not harmless – Cannabis Use Disorder and use by minors are real and existing problems – this is why we need legislation to protect public health and to protect our communities through regulation “