Quinn, Rauner Share Hazy Stance On Decriminalizing Pot

Sep 25, 2014

Credit Thinkprogress.org

It's hard to find common ground between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, but when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana, they're on the same page. Both have a stance that's well, hazy.

"It's worthy of looking at," Quinn said about the idea of reducing penalties for people caught with small amounts of pot."It's basically something I think the legislature should have hearings on. I think a lot of people should have input on. I do think that it's worthy of consideration."

Sounds similar to his Rauner's response: "I think we can and should talk about ways to creatively deal with non-violent offenders. we should have that discussion," Rauner said.

With Illinois prisons stuffed, there's pressure on the General Assembly to look at sentencing policies.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this week gave a legislative panel a suggestion: lay off on sending low-level marijuana smokers to prison.

The discussion comes as Illinois is rolling out a pilot medical marijuana program.

Quinn signed that into law. Rauner says he would have vetoed it, because it keeps secret who has applied to grow and dispense cannabis. The process is highly-competitive, and for the relative few winners, could be very lucrative. Earlier this week, companies that want to grow or sell cannabis in Illinois had to turn in their applicants.