LaHood Says Federal Law Not the Best Approach to Medical Cannabis

Jun 17, 2019

Credit Darin LaHood Congressional Office

U.S. Representative Darin LaHood says he is leery of recreational cannabis legalization in Illinois.

This comes after his Representative Rodney Davis, a fellow House Republican, said earlier this month he would back medical legalization in an effort to fight the opioid crisis.

LaHood says he doesn’t think “we’re there yet” on legalize medical cannabis nationally.

“I also have concerns about safety aspects and how, law enforcement gauges the use of marijuana and how it affects people driving and operating heavy machinery. So I have real concerns about that, and I’m not convinced a federal law or federal acceptance of that is the right approach to take,” says LaHood

LaHood says that he voted against medical marijuana pilot program in 2013 when he was an Illinois state senator because he was afraid it would open the door to recreational legalization.

“I have real concerns about the effect of marijuana on, particularly young people’s brains, that are 14, 15, 16. Now again, I know it’s not legal for them or won’t be under this law, but I just - I have real concerns about the effect marijuana has, and the fact that it is a gateway drug.”

The Peoria Republican says he also has concerns about legalizing medical cannabis on the federal level. Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker is now poised to sign a bill legalizing possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis for people age 21 and older.