THE BLOG

Playing Devil's Advocate: Will Legal Marijuana Ever Come to Illinois?

02/13/2015 04:09 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2015

When it comes to legalizing marijuana in Illinois, there are as many opinions as there are Illinoisans. But one Illinoisan, known only as the Devil's Advocate, has some particularly strong ideas.

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If there's one thing we like where I come from, it's good intentions. We've got a road rolling right into my hometown that's paved with them.

But the old highway can always use a little resurfacing, which is why I was so delighted to follow the creation of the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program.

Back home, we're counting on the good intentions from this one putting an overlay of gold on the old hometown highway.

Oh, not the good intentions of helping chronically sick people for whom marijuana represents the last hope for relief where pharmaceuticals have failed. Provided the state gets its act together -- and it looks like it finally did -- the program should work as intended.

No, we'll see nary a square foot of asphalt from those good intentions.

I'm talking about the good intentions that went into guarding against the medical marijuana program becoming something more than a means of helping very sick people. All those pages and pages of rules to make sure that only those suffering from specific chronic diseases are allowed access to Illinois-grown cannabis.

Your lawmakers sure twisted themselves into legalistic contortions to make sure the Illinois marijuana law didn't end up like California's, where a hangnail can earn you a cannabis card you can redeem at the friendly drive-thru up the street. Or heaven forbid (pardon the expression), Illinois might end up like Washington or Colorado, where there is no artifice of medical use forming a halo above the iconic herb.

None of that for Illinois. Your lawmakers wrote up reams of rules to make sure Illinois stayed on the side of the angels when it came to recognizing that there's some value in the devil's weed. (That is NOT a derogatory term here, by the way.)

Good intentions. The best. And in a few years I'll be cruising right over them on my daily commute. I've seen this happen before in Illinois...

Read the rest at Reboot Illinois to find out just how long the Devil's Advocate predicts it will take before legal recreational marijuana use comes to Illinois.