Statement on passage of HB 1438, legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois

Springfield – On the final day of the spring session, the Illinois House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Illinois.

State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) issued the following statement in reaction to the passage of House Bill 1438:

“Today we saw yet another attack on our conservative family values with the passage of recreational marijuana,” Rep. Caulkins said. “Nothing in this bill changes the fact that cannabis is still a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance which remains illegal under federal law. Today’s action makes no sense and it sends the wrong message to our youth.

“The truth is House Bill 1438 will put more marijuana on our streets and in the hands of young people. There’s no way to accurately test for marijuana impairment and when this bill becomes law, we will see more impaired drivers on our roads threatening the lives and safety of Illinois families.

“Finally, the proponents of this bill have argued that it will increase state revenues. The fact is this bill will not raise nearly as much money as proponents expect, but it will cause more traffic accidents and place additional burdens on taxpayer dollars to pay for drug treatment and the negative health effects of chronic marijuana use. Legalizing marijuana is a terrible way to raise money for the State and it will cause far more harm than good. That is why I voted against this deeply-flawed legislation.”