Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 23, 2014
Several states nationwide have instituted various “gun buyback” programs for everything from grocery store gift cards to straight up cash. Illinois has come up with a bit more crafty of a buyback incentive, however: medical marijuana.
According to The Chicago Tribune, a new state proposal would require residents who want to qualify to obtain medical marijuana in the state would need to be fingerprinted for a background check, pay $150 a year, and give up their right to own a firearm. Adults who have any of 41 specified medical conditions, including cancer and AIDS, would be eligible to apply for a “patient registry identification card” to purchase as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks (or more, as certified by the prescribing physician).
The proposed rules are the first in a set of guidelines expected to be outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health throughout 2014. The department plans on taking public comment about the new rules next month, and hopes to submit them to a legislative panel for approval by the end of April.
Another one of the proposed rules includes preventing qualifying patients or caregivers from possessing a firearm, even if they have a valid state firearm owner’s ID card or concealed carry permit.
Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the pro-Second Amendment National Rifle Association, told the Tribunethat the organization doesn’t have a position on the issue but that the rule seems to be an attempt to interpret federal law.
“It presents a novel legal conundrum,” he said. “The courts are going to have to reconcile it.”
Illinois is the most recent state in the union to both legalize marijuana use for medicinal purposes and legalize concealed carry. According to The Huffington Post, medical marijuana use in Illinois became legal on Jan 1., with the state’s laws being among the strictest in the nation.