In response to a candidate questionnaire conducted by the Associated Press, all four of the Republican candidates for governor said they don’t support fully legalizing marijuana in Illinois.
In August, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a four-year pilot program allowing the medical use of marijuana in Illinois. The program calls for state-regulated dispensaries, 22 designated cultivation centers and a list of specific conditions patients must have before being allowed marijuana use.
For two of the candidates—Winnetka business Bruce Rauner and state treasurer Dan Rutherford—the answers were a simple “No” on the form where it asked “Should marijuana be legalized generally?”
The other two candidates—state senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard—both offered slightly more information.
Dillard said he listens to law enforcement on the issue; a sheriff's association opposed the medical marijuana bill over concerns of motorists driving under the influence of marijuana.
Brady said the medical marijuana bill opens the door to legalization of recreational use.
"I am opposed to the general legalization of marijuana or any other controlled substances, which are currently subject to regulation and governance by the federal government," Brady said.
The Democratic challenger to Quinn in the March primary, former CeaseFire director Tio Hardiman, said he was also opposed to fully legalizing marijuana but approved of extending the pilot program.
Rauner’s running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti, suffers from multiple sclerosis. As a result, she says she understands the potential for marijuana to medically help some people.
"While marijuana does not provide a cure for those dealing with debilitating and terminal conditions, it has been known to provide relief to those dealing with the painful symptoms," Sanguinetti wrote in her questionnaire. "I'm okay with allowing them to continue to do so within the existing restrictions."