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Durbin, Kirk Disagree on Marijuana

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/Brian Kersey (Durbin Photo)

    Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk don’t agree on marijuana.

    The two reportedly voiced opposing position on the drug’s restrictions during a coffee with constituents on Capitol Hill, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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    Durbin, a Democrat, supports the use of medical marijuana for people with conditions such as glaucoma, but Kirk, a Republican, prefers as many restrictions as possible, the Tribune reported.

    Earlier this year, Illinois became the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana.

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    According to the proposal, a person can be prescribed no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana over two weeks, and the prescribing doctor must have a previous history of treating the patient. Medical marijuana also can only be purchased from one of 60 state-regulated dispensing centers that would be under 24-hour surveillance, and employees at the centers must undergo criminal background checks.

    While Durbin said he supports the use of medical marijuana, he noted that he doesn’t support the decriminalization of the drug,  expressing concern about it being a “gateway” to more serious drugs. He said possession of marijuana, however, should not be treated in a criminal fashion, because that could lead to prisons being filled with non-violent offenders.

    Kirk did not address medical marijuana specifically, but said he favored full restrictions on the drug.

    Kirk said his biggest concern was young people and academics, referencing “burnouts," who he said were generally "lower performing in their careers and their lives."