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Race to Watch: Illinois

Voters all over the United States will make their voices heard at the ballot box on November 6. The battle for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate come down to just a few competitive races, so it’s more important than ever for cannabis professionals to be informed about the views of key candidates running for office. NCIA has compiled information about candidates running in 25 competitive races for the House of Representatives and three for the Senate that we consider uniquely important to the cannabis industry due to their views on marijuana policy and/or their geographic location.

House Races

District

6

In the last election, Republican Peter Roskam won this district by only 64,964 votes (18.4%). But Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in IL-06 by 7.0%. Now Democrat Sean Casten, a scientist and clean energy executive, is running against him. Rep. Roskam has voted against protecting CBD, medical and adult-use cannabis programs, veterans access, hemp, and banks that choose to service the cannabis industry. In October 2018, Casten stated, "I would support decriminalization of marijuana and an elimination of “3 strikes” rules to reduce incarceration rates for all Americans."

Incumbent

Republican

Peter Roskam

Website

Candidate

Democrat

Sean Casten

Website

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

District

12

In the last election, Republican Mike Bost won this district by only 45,730 votes (14.6%). Now Democrat Brendan Kelly, a state's attorney and former Naval officer, is running against him. Rep. Bost has voted against protecting CBD, medical and adult-use cannabis programs, veterans access, and hemp. Brendan Kelly's campaign responded to an NCIA candidate survey and wrote, "As a career prosecutor, I advocated for diversion of cannabis cases from the criminal justice system, and as President of the Illinois Prosecutor's Association, testified in favor of decriminalization. As part of my campaign we have held many town halls on issues important to folks in the area. Brendan hosted a town hall on cannabis. I strongly support removing cannabis from the Schedule 1 List of Controlled Substances, and updating financial regulations to allow entrepreneurship, investment, and research within the industry. I was the first prosecutor in the state of Illinois to go after big Pharma for their role in the opioid crisis, and I believe cannabis has an important role to play in alternative pain management that will be necessary to break the cycle of opioid addiction.

Incumbent

Republican

Mike Bost

Website

Candidate

Democrat

Brendan Kelly

Website
NCIA-PAC Recipient

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

Grade:
B
Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

Making marijuana legal for patients with certain medical conditions;Allowing states to determine their own marijuana policies;Legalizing of non-psychoactive hemp for industrial, food, and medical products;Making medical cannabis an option for veterans in the VA system

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

No

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

As a career prosecutor, I advocated for diversion of cannabis cases from the criminal justice system, and as President of the Illinois Prosecutor's Association, testified in favor of decriminalization. As part of my campaign we have held many town halls on issues important to folks in the area. Brendan hosted a town hall on cannabis. I strongly support removing cannabis from the Schedule 1 List of Controlled Substances, and updating financial regulations to allow entrepreneurship, investment, and research within the industry. I was the first prosecutor in the state of Illinois to go after big Pharma for their role in the opioid crisis, and I believe cannabis has an important role to play in alternative pain management that will be necessary to break the cycle of opioid addiction.