Rep. Bailey Slams Gov. Pritzker’s “Pot” Law: Local Communities Encouraged to ‘Opt Out’


State Rep. Darren Bailey is disappointed in Governor Pritzker signing into law today the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Illinois beginning January 1, 2020. Rep. Bailey voted NO on House Bill 1438 this legislative session and is encouraging local communities to ‘opt out’ of having cannabis businesses in their communities.

“We have all heard about how marijuana is a gateway drug to even more addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine,” commented Rep. Darren Bailey, a member of the Child Care Access & Early Childhood Education Committee. “Local governments should opt out of having cannabis related businesses inside their borders to help keep their children and grandchildren from having easy access to this drug. This can be easily done by passing an ordinance by the city council or village board.”

Local governments may zone where the growers and dispensaries may go. A unit of local government may also establish civil penalties for violations of an ordinance or rules governing the time, place, and manner of operation of a cannabis business establishment.

This legislation will clear the cannabis-related records of an estimated 700,000 offenders through a combination of automatic expungement, gubernatorial pardon and individual court action. Rep. Bailey sided with other opponents including the Illinois Sheriffs Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Chiefs of Police, Catholic Conference of Illinois, Illinois Family Institute, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems (ILCAAAP) in opposing this legislation.

“As the first state in the nation to fully legalize recreational cannabis through the legislative process, Illinois exemplifies another example of how extreme this governor and his allies in the legislature have gone,” continued Rep. Bailey. “Pot is still illegal under federal law and anyone who uses pot and tries to apply for a FOID card or Concealed Carry License will have a hard time,” added Rep. Bailey.

“One Chicago Democrat legislator actually had the audacity to say ‘this law keeps our children safe by prioritizing public safety…’ but how does making it easier to grow and sell in our villages and towns keep our children safer” concluded Rep. Bailey.