Rauner Uses Veto To Call for Changes to MJ Bill 
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Rauner Uses Veto To Call for Changes to MJ Bill 
Posted by CN Staff on August 14, 2015 at 17:17:34 PT
By Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune
Source: Chicago Tribune 
Illinois -- Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday used his veto powers to rewrite a bill aimed at decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying the measure that lawmakers sent him would let people carry too much pot and sets fines too low.Rauner said while he supports the "fundamental purposes" of keeping people out of jail and cutting court costs, such a significant change in drug laws "must be made carefully and incrementally." Sponsors of the bill pushed back, saying the changes are "low-hanging fruit" when it comes to reforming the criminal justice system and contending the governor is working against his own goal of reducing the number of prison inmates.
Under the proposal, people caught with up to 15 grams of marijuana  about the equivalent of 25 cigarette-sized joints  would not go to court but instead receive fines ranging from $55 to $125. Rauner said those standards were too lax and the threshold should be lowered to 10 grams and fines should range from $100 to $200.The governor also took issue with a provision that would loosen the state's zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of cannabis. Currently, a driver can be charged if any trace of marijuana is detected, even if it was ingested days or weeks before and a driver showed no signs of impairment.The bill that lawmakers sent Rauner would have set new limits of 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Rauner again argued that standard went too far in the opposite direction, suggesting the limit instead should be 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood.Sponsoring Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, acknowledged science on that front was evolving and said she knew when the bill passed that lawmakers likely would have to revisit what levels of THC  the psychoactive component of marijuana  were acceptable when someone was behind the wheel.Kelly called Rauner's partial veto "frustrating," saying she made numerous changes during the negotiation process at the behest of Republican leaders who act as the governor's liaisons."This goal of reducing the prison population is one that we share, but it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be accomplished with half measures," Cassidy said. "It really comes down to with every change you make, someone gets arrested who wouldn't otherwise. And if we want to keep people out of our jail system we have to take bold moves, and does putting someone in jail for 10 grams instead of 15 grams make us safer? I would argue it doesn't."Sen. Jason Barickman, a Bloomington Republican who voted for the bill, said Rauner simply was using his "unique power to help correct imperfect legislative negotiations.""This is a significant change in public policy. We want to get it right," Barickman said. "The governor is expressing his opinion on that, which helps us move the ball forward."The bill now returns to lawmakers, who can vote to go along with Rauner's changes or reject them. If lawmakers opt not to take up the changes, the bill dies. Cassidy said she would have to regroup with supporters to decide the next move.In the meantime, current law stands. That means someone caught with small amounts of marijuana faces fines of up to $2,500 and up to a year in a jail.Legislators signed off on the proposal in May after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who is expected to face a tough re-election fight next year, announced her office would stop prosecuting low-level marijuana possession cases for people with fewer than three arrests or citations. The state legislation also follows a measure enacted by Chicago in 2012 that allowed police to issue tickets of $250 to $500 for someone caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana.Also Friday, Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to make changes in a law that would have extended the state's medical marijuana trial program, which is set to expire in January 2018.Lawmakers wanted to push that date back by four years from the time the state's first dispensary opens later this year. Advocates said the extension is needed after delays under then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn resulted in patients spending the majority of the initial four-year trial period without access to medical marijuana.But Rauner said the program should only be extended by four months because that "would account for the delay in the final months of the prior administration.""Given that no sale has yet occurred and we have not had an opportunity to evaluate the success and failure of the pilot program, a further extension would be premature," Rauner wrote to lawmakers.Sponsoring Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, said the governor's refusal to agree to a longer test period ultimately would drive up the cost of medical marijuana because businesses just getting started in Illinois won't be able to plan into the future and will have to charge more to make a return on their investments. That, Lang said, would drive people to purchase pot illegally."My concern when I got into this was to help patients, and I don't think the governor's actions today do much to help patients," Lang said.Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author: Monique Garcia, Chicago TribunePublished: August 14, 2015Copyright: 2015 Chicago Tribune Company, LLCWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on August 15, 2015 at 16:24:51 PT
Wicked? Immoral?
Persecuting a group or certain subset of people purely for the sake of mammon?
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on August 15, 2015 at 08:14:37 PT
With what we are aware of today
Any political leader or buearucat that wishes to perpertrate this war on American People to help create and protect profits for those whom they openly receive bribes and blood money to kill citizens and cage perfectly good citizens who simply disagree with and refuse to adhere to fake, unfounded, anti-science laws and regulations. Look at their crimes through untainted vision. They have perverted our laws, science and understanding of the earth's greatest single gift. Thus causing long and short term deviation to the planet, our lives and the future. The folks with the greed gene, pathological hoarding, need to be marshaled, monitored and kept on a short monitary leash! No one has the right or moral or political authority to prosper at the expense of or planet'
s health and well being let alone caging people who get in their way and shooting down innocent people in their beds, killing family pets and children. Taking from folks their hard earned possessions even taking from families that which they need to survive.Never expect sociopathic or psychopathic personalities to "heal". These conditions are hard wired in this type of brain. Like a crazed psycho with an automatic weapon in a crowded venue, they must be forced to give up the power and resources they have abused. If they aquired what they have through scullduggerous means then they don't own it anyway. Reverse asset forfeiture. Reparations to all this WoD have harmed. I believe is the Pentagon can spend 1.5 trillion on a bomber jet we do not need and does not even work right, I think we can afford to repair the damage done.
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Comment #1 posted by Vincent on August 14, 2015 at 21:46:37 PT:
Why are they wasting their time?
It is obvious to me and everyone else that this dude, Rauner, is a hard-core Republican trying to pass for something else. He just can't help but stick his fingers into everything that passes in front of him, just like any other, ahem, "small-government conservative". Knowing this, why do all these other normal people even try to reason with this numbskull? Don't negotiate with this fiend...just vote him out of office at election time. 
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