cannabis marijuana.jpg

A marijuana plant.

The Pantagraph asked several health systems for their position on potential marijuana legalization in Illinois. Here are their statements:

"As a health care system, OSF HealthCare feels compelled to oppose any efforts at further legalization and commercialization of marijuana at the state or federal level. Given the health studies which demonstrate the negative impact of marijuana on brain development in youth and young adults, we do not believe the medical and psychological risks are worth any tax revenue that will be generated should it be made legal and commercialized for the purpose of generating tax revenue."

— Chris Manson, vice president of governmental affairs, OSF HealthCare

"Patients consult their physicians about a wide range of topics, and we as physicians work with each patient to help determine any potential impact on their personal well-being and if facing illness, assist patients back to health."

— Dr. Kevin McCune, chief medical officer, Advocate Medical Group

"The pros and cons of legalizing marijuana for recreational use have been well debated. From the perspectives of economics, public health, public safety and criminal justice, there are both benefits and drawbacks.

The State of Illinois should not rush this decision. Lawmakers and public health officials should study how legalization has worked in other states and should apply lessons learned by those states in pursuing possible legalization here.

If Illinois is to legalize recreational marijuana use, we would urge the following regulations: limit the allowable THC concentration in legally sold marijuana products; limit the impact on youth by mandating funding for marijuana education and prevention campaigns; prohibit marijuana advertising aimed at youth; use a portion of tax revenue from marijuana sales for treatment programs for persons with THC use disorders; require buyers to be at least 21 years old; ensure that reliable testing is in place for THC-impaired driving before allowing marijuana sales; require package warnings indicating that THC can be habit forming and can cause health problems; prohibit THC use in public places."

— Chestnut Health Systems

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