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DeKalb City Council passes ordinances to reflect state law

Published: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 11:15 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 12:10 a.m. CST

DeKALB – Concealed carry and medical marijuana ordinances were passed by the DeKalb City Council at Monday’s meeting.

City Attorney Dean Frieders said the ordinance mirrors state statutes that went into effect Jan. 1.

Current local laws prohibit marijuana possession or carrying firearms in public, but the state law supersedes the municipal codes, he said.

“Basically, this ordinance says that if what you’re doing is lawful under the state code, you can do it in the city,” Frieders said.

“We need good enforcement tools,” he added.

Frieders said training will be provided in the coming weeks for the city’s police officers since both issues are strictly controlled by state law.

The concealed-carry law will allow state residents who complete the required 16 hours of training and obtain a permit to carry a firearm to do so, unless they are in prohibited areas, such as schools, hospitals and parks, Frieders said.

The city also will mark buildings which prohibit firearms with signs.

Illinois’ medical marijuana law allows its use to treat 35 serious illnesses or conditions, including muscular dystrophy, cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and lupus. The prescribing physician and patient must have an established relationship, and patients can buy up to 2.5 ounces of the drug every two weeks.

Authorized medical marijuana permit holders will need to have marijuana in a sealed medical container, Frieders said.

“Even with a permit, you can’t have a baggie of marijuana in your pocket,” he said.

The medical marijuana law prohibits police officers, firefighters or commercial driver’s license holders from having a permit, even if they have a legitimate disorder, Frieders said

Before voting on the first reading, 3rd Ward Alderwoman Kristen Lash said she received an email from DeKalb County Partnership for a Safe, Active and Family Environment expressing concerns at medical marijuana dispensaries advertising.

“If the council is interested in regulations on dispensaries, we can look into that, but the ordinance does not address dispensaries,” Frieders said.

“We can discuss zoning and signage, but it’s unlikely we would be able to regulate advertising, either print or broadcast,” Frieders added.

After unanimously voting in favor of the first reading and waiving the second reading, aldermen unanimously approved the ordinance.

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