Illinois Medical Marijuana Effects on Law Enforcement


{Medical marijuana will soon be available in Illinois. Right now the state is in the process of setting up cultivation centers. There's also some planning going on, in Indiana about the legalization of medical marijuana and its effects.

The Wabash Valley stretches across both Indiana and Illinois, but the legalization of medical marijuana creates a divide. Illinois State Police now has a Medical Marijuana Unit in charge of coordinating security plans for cultivation centers. At the same time, police on the Indiana side are figuring out how this new law will effect them. It's legal to get high in Illinois, but one step into any bordering state.. you're busted.

While it is legal for residents of Illinois to be prescribed to medicinal cannabis, once you cross this state line you are subject to Indiana law.

Illinois law allows doctors to prescribe weed in differing forms for 37 specific medical conditions.

Olney, IL Mayor Ray Vaughn said, "Illinois' law, which was passed earlier this year, is the most strict in the nation. It was written to avoid a lot of the problems the other states had been having with medicinal marijuana."

But if an Illinois patient travels to Indiana while possessing or under the influence of marijuana, "Obviously the possession and the use is illegal," Vigo Sheriff's Office Captain John Moats said. "When it comes to the OVWI driving statutes... if it's in their system and they have a crash then they are subject to penalties under the law."

Capt. Moats hopes people understand the differences in law now so they don't run into trouble later.

"You would hate to see them just out of ignorance not know that they're going to be subject to our laws."

And marijuana offenses begin at the misdemeanor level in Indiana.

"Depending on how bad the crime was... whether somebody was killed or whatever then it rises with the seriousness of the crime," Moats said.

While Illinois is one of 23 states to legalize medical marijuana and there are four states where recreational use is legal, including Washington D.C., the feds don't back the states on their choice to legalize pot.

Vaughn said, "The federal government is still over here saying 'no we're not going to permit this.' So it's kind of interesting to watch the interplay between the states and the federal government on this."

We reached out to ISP numerous times for this story, they declined to be interviewed.}

Ex-Bear promoting medical pot



{Since they won the Super Bowl, members of the 1985 Chicago Bears have made second careers out of promoting apple-pie products like McDonald's, Coca-Cola and G.I. Joe. Now, they can add a more countercultural item to the menu: medical marijuana.

Emery Moorehead, former tight end for that once-dominant franchise, is part of a business team hoping to sell cannabis under the new state law that legalizes it. Moorehead plans to direct community relations for a group of investors seeking to open a marijuana dispensary in his native Evanston — one of 369 businesses that have applied to run medical pot retail stores or growing warehouses in Illinois.

But while people like Moorehead are seeking publicity for their proposals, the state is deciding entirely in secret who will get potentially lucrative operating licenses. Even the names of applicants — and the names of those who will judge and rank the applications — are being withheld.}