by Mary C. Piemonte
Raw footage of the “Fourth Annual Forum on Drug Policy” at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago, on April 4, 2014.
In two separate panel discussions during the three-hour event, a broad range of speakers discussed who uses drugs, treatment for addicts, the correctional process for those charged with drug offenses and the collateral consequences of marijuana misdemeanors in the state of Illinois.
That group included staff from Roosevelt University, a student from Old Dominion University, an advanced therapy extern from Metropolitan Correctional Facility in Chicago, a staff attorney from the Federal Defender’s Program, a counselor from the Anixter Center, a top official from Cabrini Green Legal Aid and a staff attorney from ACLU-IL
In addition, the audience listened to the personal perspectives of a few of the student panelists who had been impacted by substance use and the criminal justice system.
The Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy is expected to release a report on April 30, 2014, “analyzing the implementation of municipal marijuana decriminalization,” according to an information sheet released at the event.
Some speakers on the panel also urged people attending the event to contact their representatives in support of IL HB-5780, a bill that proposes to remove criminal penalties for possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana.
The full text of the IL HB-5708, introduced in early February 2014, sponsored by Illinois Democrats Rep. Kelly M Cassidy (14th District) and Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (8th District) can be found here.