To the Editor:
The Associated Press article regarding medical marijuana attracting crime should not be a reason to continue arresting these patients in Illinois. Currently, patients in Illinois are forced to turn to the criminal market to access their medicine and still are subject to being arrested and locked up for trying to treat their medical condition. It is tragic that a medicine that some people use in 14 other states will land sick folks in the slammer in Illinois.
In fact, studies by Denver, Colo., police have shown that banks and liquor stores get robbed at higher rates than medical marijuana dispensaries there. Pharmacies get robbed at exactly the same rate as marijuana dispensaries. But no one is suggesting we close down pharmacies, because sick people need them. The same is true for medical marijuana compassion centers– they’re needed by seriously ill people whose doctors recommend they use marijuana as a medicine.
Senate Bill 1381 passed the Illinois Senate last year and now is poised for a vote from Illinois state representatives. Illinois residents who could benefit from safe and legal access to medical marijuana are not criminals, and the law should reflect that.