Drug Agents Urge Opposition To Marijuana Bill

AURORA, Ill. (STMW) – The California and Colorado medical marijuana statutes are causing problems in their states and nationally.

And if Illinois passes Senate Bill 1381, which seeks to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois, many of the same problems may plague Illinois.

That was the message of two law enforcement officials who spoke with a handful of residents about the problems with the proposed bill this week at the Timberlake Club House on Aurora’s West Side.

“I think most people have this impression that medical marijuana is for people who are dying. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Chris Endress, director of the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group. His agency serves Rock Island in western Illinois and Scott County, Iowa.

Endress gave the presentation with Bill Backus, director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which covers Kane, DeKalb and Kendall counties.

The typical medical marijuana user is not old and dying, Endress said. Rather, they are young males. They need a card issued by a doctor to be able to use marijuana, and there are doctors known for issuing cards to anyone who comes into their office, Endress said.

Endress and Backus are speaking up on the medical marijuana issue in anticipation of a possible vote on the bill in the Illinois House as early as January. The state Senate already has passed the bill.

Under the proposed bill, caregivers would grow the marijuana. The caregivers would be allowed to grow a significantly larger amount of marijuana per patient than the patients are allowed to smoke, Backus said. This leaves the caregivers with an excess amount of marijuana.

It would be difficult to regulate the growth of medical marijuana and who is allowed to smoke it, the drug agents said. If a tenant walked up to a landlord and said they intended to grow marijuana in their building, the landlord could not refuse to rent on that basis, Backus said. And employers would not be able to take action against a patient who tested positive for the drug, Endress said.

Endress and Backus suggested waiting for a non-intoxicating, FDA-approved drug derived from marijuana. There is one in Europe that is used for the same types of purposes as medical marijuana called Sativex, which is a cannabis extract liquid spray.

“People who have MS or muscle spasms, this provides relief,” Endress said.

Backus suggested contacting local legislators. He also said local mayors and police chiefs should be urged to stand up against the bill.

If the law passes, it would allow the criminal element back into local communities, Backus said.

“We’ve worked very hard to get crime down in Aurora,” Backus said.

If the bill is approved, he said, “We’re asking the criminal element to come back into town.”

Aurora residents Carol Akers and Beth Pettit attended the meeting out of concern for what the law would mean for Aurora and their local neighborhoods. Akers lives within two blocks of Greenman Elementary School, near Galena Boulevard and Lancaster Street, on the West Side.

Because she is more than 500 feet away from the school, no regulations would be placed on her immediate neighbors, according to information given on the bill.

“If this legislation passes, Aurora will be trashed, and my neighborhood will be the first to go,” she said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

  • Skorps

    Or just decriminalize it and take away the reason for people to be “criminals” in the first place. Prohibition worked really well, didn’t it?

  • Brad Stensland

    The ONLY reason these federal THUGS are WHINING like little girls is because LEGALIZING MARIJUANA WILL MAKE THEIR JOBS OBSOLETE!!! The money-grabbing federales will be out of a job, just like you and me! They’ll do ANYthing to keep busting little innocent stoners.

  • edward c. stengel

    Thank you, Mr. Brad Stensland. You stated it perfectly. Once we legalize drugs, these worthless cops will be out of a job, and that’s not all. It’s because of these politically made drug wars that our police are so heavily armed, to the point where they have become domestic terrorists in our own homeland, and the very weapons we give them to supposedly fight the drug dealers they will someday use on America’s own citizens. Let the fascist police go out and get a real job.

  • iphish

    “The typical medical marijuana user is not old and dying, Endress said. Rather, they are young males.”
    I would like to know the source of Mr Endress’s information? This statement is innaccurate, which leads me to believe he is lying. What else is he lying about? Why does the Illinois Nurses association support the use of medical marijuana???

  • Hayes Watkins

    “We’re asking the criminal element to come back into town.”

    What a ridiculous and ignorant comment! Caregivers eliminate the criminal element.

    If the “Domestic Terrorists” a.k.a. the DEA and MEG agents are really serious about eliminating the criminal element, they would support legalization. The only reason there is a criminal element is because it is illegal.

    I absolutely agree with Mr. Stensland. All these people are trying to do is to save their phoney-baloney jobs so that they may continue to terrorize innocent and otherwise law-abiding citizens.

  • Mr Voter

    tax and make leagal…my grandma is 92 and she smokes in CA. I need to bring her here, why make her acrimmal for her meds she put on 20 pounds since smoking cannibis…….think about it, also this can now bw controlled were before anyone on the corner can gett it, this way the cop can go after the gang bangers…..

  • Russ Harrison

    “Inviting the criminal element back into our towns…” It is the criminal element that stands to lose the most from decriminalization of marijuana. How is it that making something legal, and TAXABLE, is capable of creating a larger criminal problem? As for the statement that most pot smokers are young males…remember the 60’s? Those pot smokers are now in their 60’s and have returned in force to their roots…those that even stopped smoking pot, that is.
    “The caregivers would be allowed to grow more pot than the patient can consume…”. What’s the problem?First, it’s a BUSINESS, and no business likes to have too much supply on hand, it kills profits. Second, it is a perishable good, meaning that common business practises mandate that an excess be produced to accomodate spoilage. Third, its a multi purpose plant that has countless uses, from rope, to paper, to clothes, to cosmetics and medicines. The US constitution was drafetd on paper made from marijuana.
    What are the probles being caused by marijuana legalization in California? Why don’t we hear of the rampaging drug wars on their border with Mexico? Could it be that since California has allowed for the legal production and distribution of marijuana that the Mexican Drug Cartels have reduced their efforts there and concentrated on States where the product is still illegal and controlled b crimial elements?
    Give the taxpayers here a break…tax the pot. tax it a lot., Stop spending money prosecuting folks that get caught with a marijuana cigarette, most of them get court appointed attorneysat thye taxpayer’s expense and then ar required to atten a drug intervention course, again at the taxpayers expense. Instead,put that money into the education system. Maybe Johnny can read when he graduates if we do.

  • Mike

    “When Neanderthals enforce the law” These hired thugs are only concerned about their job. They don’t know a thing about marijuana. They remond me of the opinions the police and the feds expressed when they talked of repealing Prohibition in the 30’s. “The War on Drugs” brought to you by the same people who brought you “The War on Poverty” “The War on Crime” and “The War on Terrorism” Its all a crock of B.S.

  • redman

    These self richous trolls, are only concerned about their own job security

  • Tucson011

    And after they get their paychecks for busting inocent users, they all meet at the bar and get toasted on their own “drug of choice” that kills 180,000 people a year. What hypocrits!!

  • jboy

    same thitng happened when liquor went legal, all the alky agents fought hard against it, why to keep their jobs and have nice shiny guns and get to rough folks up, well its over goons, start looking for work…………….

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