Illinois is a state that currently has a legal cannabis market for medicinal use only, with plans to soon change that and have recreational use become legal by 2020.
Despite what might on the surface look like support for an individuals right to medicate with cannabis however, or possess this substance, we find repeated actions from the state that run contrary to those promises of cannabis freedom.
In the case of 37 year old Thomas Franzen for example, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, he has recently been sentenced to 4 years behind bars for ordering cannabis edibles which he says were to help him self-medicate. The state suggests that he was looking to make voluntary exchanges with those chocolates though that he ordered, roughly 42 pounds of edibles, and sell them to willing buyers. The state also believes their being extremely kind in this circumstance by giving him only 4 years behind bars instead of the minimum 12. But kindness would be not putting someone in a cage for a victimless action.
Franzen doesn't have any prior criminal convictions and isn't a violent individual that should be placed behind bars as if he is a threat to anyone. This man should be permitted to enjoy the remaining time he has left in life in peace, he should be able to medicate with whatever he wants to try and reduce the pain and increase his comfort and quality of life. Any attempts to prevent such an individual from doing so are cruel and unjust.
And what if he were looking to give those chocolates away, what if he were to give them to others who were also suffering from cancer and various illnesses, who just like Franzen were looking for some natural healing? Now, they all suffer with a lower quality of life, because of the reduced access if that had been his plan, and Franzen is left to possibly spend years behind bars because of it.
The entire ordeal is a waste of jail space and state resources for a victimless crime and it's a tragedy to see this happen in a state that has paraded itself as a welcoming environment for cannabis use with its plans for medicinal and recreational access.