Asked about whether Illinois should follow the lead of California, Michigan and other states in legalizing the use of marijuana for pain relief and other medical conditions, candidates for the state house seat representing Evanston raised no objections to the idea.

Here’s what Jeff Smith and Edmund Moran had to say on the issue.

The other three candidates in the race passed on a chance to add to what Smith and Moran had said at the debate held Nov. 22 at Kingsley Elementary School in Evanston.

The recent legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan has led to the establishment of a school to teach potential suppliers how to grow pot, as reported in this story Sunday in the New York Times.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Voters: Don’t Inhale. Candidates: Don’t Waste Your Breath.
    Really. Is medical marijuana such an important issue that it deserves debate time from the Democrat candidates for the 18th District? With a state budget that is outta control, a reputation as corruption capital of America, the state of Illinois needs lawmakers that will focus on the priorities and not get sidetracked by schtick like this.

    Besides, legalizing marijuana will create a black market of medically-approved individuals reselling their pot on the street to subsidize their own harder-core drug habits. That’s what’s happening in California.

  2. priorities
    If you look at the issues page on my website,, you’ll see that I discuss solutions to corruption, and funding state government, at some length. I don’t have a page on “medical marijuana.”

    The topics discussed at the debate were not necessarily reflective of the candidates’ priorities. The candidates dealt with the questions that were asked. I was looking forward to at least one question on the economy. None were asked, and due to the debate format I was not called on during the question on campaign finance reform. Nor was there a question on the environment directed to me. So I didn’t get to address my top priority issues at all. Sorry, but it’s hard to answer a question that isn’t posed.

    I do believe we incarcerate far too many Americans, and that the “war” approach to drugs is destructive. There are difficulties with creating a system where a substance is legal for only some, as you recognize.

  3. The War on Drugs is a good fight
    Jeff Smith leaps from the medical marijuana issue to the comment – “war on drugs is a failure.” I wasn’t aware that legalizing marijuana for medical use is tied to the war on drug abuse.

    What does Smith’s statement mean, exactly? Am I to assume Smith would support legalizing drug use or should I say, drug abuse?

    Smith says on this post that “we incarcerate far too many Americans.” What does that mean? Does Smith believe there are a lot of innocent people in jail? Or, does he assume that these people should not be in jail because they simply used drugs, despite the fact they had broken existing laws?

    Someone please inform Smith that studies after studies show a DIRECT link to drug abuse and crime. Think of the millions of families over the past four decades that have been victims of drug abuse or decimated by a family member’s drug abuse.

    Oh, let’s not ignore the countless studies that DO show marijuana use is addictive and typically leads to other kinds of drug abuse – cocaine, LSD etc.

    Finally, we really don’t see how many people were saved from drug abuse in the War on Drugs simply because countless people knew the consequences of drug abuse and wisely stayed away from it. You can thank the hard-line legislative approaches and marketing efforts over the years that put relentless societal pressure on the drug culture. Loosen the war effort and you’ll see more people abusing drugs over time.

    I would love to know – Does Smith favor legalizing marijuana across the board?

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