Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman (Bloomington) is in favor of legalized marijuana legislation, but opposes the specifics of the bill being pushed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“I said that I support legalizing cannabis for adult use only, provided appropriate safeguards are in place,” Barickman told Mark Maxwell doing a recent appearance on "Capital Connection" that was posted to YouTube. “The governor’s plan falls way short. It’s incredibly controversial across the board. I think what you’re hearing is Republicans and Democrats alike looking at the governor’s proposal and identifying key aspects the public will find controversial.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that the law would allow adults 21 and older to be in possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana and pave the way for those previously convicted of misdemeanor or Class 4 felony marijuana charges to have their records expunged. For Barickman, the issue of expungement is a big part of the problem, with the Republican lawmaker worrying that more than just recreational marijuana users might be able to take advantage of it.
Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington)
“I am willing to support legalizing cannabis but only if it’s done in right way,” he said. “We live in a society that expects us to uphold the rule of law. If we changed the speed limit today and raised it, we’re not going to go back and expunge all the speeding tickets people had. The point is the laws that are in place today are the laws. What the governor is proposing includes felons and felony convictions.”
Barickman said there is also the issue of the revenue generated from the legalized sale of the drug.
“I think that the taxpayers of this state, the voters of this state who demand that we get our priorities straight, say if there is money, put it toward our existing obligations,” he said. “I’ve asked the governor to sit down with me and talk about some of my concerns and he seems to be totally disengaged from this debate.”