Illinois (ECWd) -
March 9th, 2020, Illinois Governor Pritzker declared a state of Emergency in Illinois. According to US News, Pritzker is quoted as saying, "In every step that we take our priority is getting ahead, and staying ahead in our response and doing so with the safety of our most vulnerable residents at the core of our preparedness".
If the priority is getting ahead and staying ahead in our response and doing so with the safety of our most vulnerable residents, why would his first executive order deal with cannabis regulations?
The very first Executive Order issued March 12, 2020, Executive Order 2020-03, had NOTHING to do with the safety of our most vulnerable, even though the order outlines who those are.
"WHEREAS, certain populations are at higher risk of experiencing more severe illness as a result of COVID-19, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease;"
It appears he was more concerned about the deadlines for in-person application requirements for Cannabis craft grower license applications, infuser license applications, and transporter license applications than those who were the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
Even more ironic, Pritzker ensured recreational cannabis was declared an essential business during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic disaster and revenue has streamed into the state from that action, as well as into the pockets of those in that business chain. An action that also has nothing to do with protecting the most vulnerable, a claimed priority of his on March 9th, 2020.
Who knew the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), played leading or key supporting roles in passing comprehensive medical marijuana laws in D.C., Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, as well as laws decriminalizing marijuana possession in D.C., Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island?
Who knew that Joby Pritzker, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker's cousin, was the former Chairman of the Board and a long time board member (January 2009 to present according to Linkedin), of MPP?
Who knew that MPP provides Grants to the National Cannabis Industry Association who just happens to represent nearly 2,000 member-businesses and tens-of-thousands of cannabis professionals?
Is it possible that many of those businesses having a financial interest in Cannabis have donated to MPP? While the MPP 990 tax filings here, here and here, do show substantial financial donations being received, who they are received from is not disclosed nor required to be disclosed. The current Chair of MPP, according to the tax records is Troy Dayton, who just happens to also be the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ArcView.
Their mission? "To forge a principled and profitable industry from the ashes of cannabis prohibition." Dayton was also a Board member during Joby Pritzker's time as Chairman.
While we pray that no one would ever put family financial connections and interests ahead of the safety of people, especially during the current pandemic, the Governor's first actions of focusing on Cannabis matters never made sense and conflicted with his claimed priority of "getting ahead, and staying ahead in our response and doing so with the safety of our most vulnerable residents at the core of our preparedness".
We challenge the Governor to explain to the people of this state how his first COVID-19 Executive Order did anything for the safety of our most vulnerable residents older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
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