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By: Mark Glennon*

Legalizing marijuana is one thing but celebrating its use is entirely different. Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton is blind to the difference.

Stratton making her purchases at the opening of an Illinois cannabis store. Source: CNN.

Instead of using Illinois’ first day of legalization to warn of marijuana’s undisputed dangers, she celebrated the event as if it were the end of prohibition of apple pie. Her picture now appears on countless national stories from CNN to FOX, all smiles as she was among hundreds who lined up to be among the first customers on January 1.

I’m among those who favored decriminalization but make no mistake: “The adverse effects associated with long-term cannabis use, including increased risk of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression and psychotic illness. Regular cannabis use is particularly problematic for young people, because of its effects on the developing brain.” That’s from the World Health Organization earlier this year, which it wrote that even while recommending that cannabis be reclassified as a lower risk narcotic.

The first day of legal recreational sale was a terrific opportunity for Illinois to get free press to warn about those facts, but Stratton had not a word on that. Instead, she only bragged about her role in legalization and on the benefits for black and brown communities. “We campaigned on it. We saw it through,” she said.

In fact, Stratton did virtually nothing on the legalization effort or, for that matter, on anything else in her term so far. Consider the scorching article from June by Rich Miller, who rarely criticizes anybody in the Prtitzker Administration harshly:

[D]epending on how you count, Stratton was in Springfield for only about 20 days during the 5-month legislative session. Her public schedule, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows her departing for Springfield from Chicago a few times at 6 p.m. with no events when she arrived, so I didn’t count those. Stratton completely missed the final 2 weeks of the spring session, which is typically a busy time, but was especially so this year as one hugely important bill after another was hotly debated by the House and Senate…. [H]er absence was the source of frequent chatter in Springfield, particularly when some members of the House Black Caucus began resisting pressure to vote for the cannabis legalization bill…. The governor’s office was in an “all hands on deck” mode during those final days, but according to her office, Stratton wasn’t even in Illinois. But I talked with several House Democrats, mainly Black Caucus and female members, and everyone said the same thing: They had little to no interaction with Stratton on important legislation.

With a record like that and with lost productivity being one of the concerns about marijuana, Stratton would be best advised to stay away from cameras at the hop shops.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Astonished

IL is at the forefront of the USA looking more and more like Mike Judge’s movie “Idiocracy” each day.

Elliott

At this point, just move the capital from Springfield to Chicago to reduce governmental expenses, or split into 2 states (Cook County with the Collar Counties & then everywhere else becomes its own state).

Gemini

Guess she was too busy smoking weed to make sure the property tax study was completed by the 12/31/19 due date.

mike jackson

aman this woman as useless as our pass governor.

mike jackson

aman this woman is about as do nothin as that past Governor.

BigC

Just another dem hack. I sure hope JB doesn’t get hit by a truck.. we would be in fine fix we her in charge.

mike

disgusting if I need to be drug tested why don’t our politicians doctors teachers and all other professionals

Astonished

For sure, politicians…

joe blow

Not only that but this clown is in charge of the massive honey pot known as the R3 program (Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program) “The R3 Program drives 25% of cannabis tax revenue to fund strategies that focus on violence prevention, re-entry and health services to areas across the state that our objectively found to be acutely suffering from the horrors of violence, bolstered by concentrated disinvestment.” According to the details, here https://www.iljp.org/r3program any charity with under 10% administrative cost doesn’t need any sort of board approval. So I expect a lot of kickbacks to a bunch of made… Read more »

debtsor

It’s been a while since a lt gov went to jail right, it’s only been gov’s in my life time. Here’s two switching things up!

Paul

WHO is just another propaganda outlet. This instance for the Pharma and other legal drug industries. Jessie Jackson’s beverage business will take a hit!

Fed up neighbor

Didn’t anyone see on tv when jabba said it’s a great day in Illinois when he cleared thousands of marijuana convictions, Stratton, fox, and several others were behind him laughing and clapping like little kids. How can this woman be in the position she is in and not be present in Springfield for critical sessions. Maybe the feds should investigate her for getting payed to do absolutely nothing. Defrauding the taxpayers of Illinois. Wonder how deep her hands are in the marry Jane business.

James

The simplest answer is that, generally speaking, the Lt. Governor has no specified duties other than to be of general assistance to the governor. So, any person in that office does what he/she wants in terms of fulfilling the “job description.”

nixit

The Democrats’ Omarosa.