Medical marijuana: Compassion or extortion?

With the release of significant revisions to Illinois’ tentative medical marijuana law, folks who spent the past few months in fear of possibly having to choose between their medicine and their guns will be happy to see the absurd clause in question has been nullified, sandwiched in the middle of 14 brand-new equally bizarre limitations seemingly designed to ward off the booming marijuana industry expanding outward from Colorado and Washington.

If you want to grow marijuana commercially in Illinois, you must verify no less than $500,000 of liquid assets with the state, merely to “qualify” for paying a $5,000 “application fee” for an application that may not even be accepted. The fee, of course, is non-refundable.

Additionally, there shall be no more than 21 “cultivation centers” throughout Illinois, and each shall be under 24-hour surveillance by state police. The number of retailers shall be limited to 60, although, with the prerequisite for $400,000 liquid assets and the $5,000 “application fee” (non-refundable, of course), there could imaginably be even fewer.

Not many investors will even care, since their product is nearly unregulated elsewhere in America. Illinois’ government must like that. After all, illegal products, not economies, are governments’ cash cows.

Simeon Becker
Rockton, Ill.

From the April 30-May 6, 2014, issue

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