Statement of State Representative Mike Murphy on voting in opposition to legalization of recreational marijuana use in Illinois (HB 1438):
“Since becoming State Representative in January, I have spent a great deal of time studying this issue and weighing the positive and negative effects that the legalization of recreational marijuana would have on not only the 99th district, but the entire state of Illinois. After careful consideration and a near 4 hour debate on the House floor, I voted against HB 1438 on final passage.
My primary concern with the legalization of recreational marijuana is about how it would impact the safety of our citizens. Law enforcement organizations from our community testified on the dangers this poses to our citizens due to their inability to effectively test for marijuana if a motorist is pulled over by law enforcement. This is a serious issue that the sponsors of the bill could not answer to my satisfaction. Now that the bill has passed and will go to the Governor for his approval, it is my sincere hope that the concerns raised by law enforcement will be taken seriously prior to the first sale of recreational marijuana next year. We have no bigger responsibility than the safety of the people of Illinois. We need to do everything in our power to keep drugs out of the hands of our youth and unfortunately with the passage of HB 1438, it is increasingly more likely that young people will be more exposed to marijuana than ever before. It is my hope that as recreational marijuana becomes law; more safeguards are put in place to ensure public safety is better protected and that young people aren’t able to get access to this dangerous drug.”