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Former Officers Protecting Medical Marijuana Industry in Illinois

April 07, 2015  | 

As police officers, part of their jobs was to put away drug sellers and users. Now, former law enforcement officials are doing private security work for Illinois' now-legal medical marijuana industry, reports the Chicago Sun Times.

"I became a policeman in 1968," says Terrance "Terry" Gainer, a former Chicago homicide detective and chief police legal adviser who went on to lead the Illinois State Police and the U.S. Capitol Police and is now a security adviser for a company that has been granted state permits to grow and sell medical marijuana. "I did not conceive that in the year 2014 I would be working for a company interested in the medical marijuana business."

Gainer also served as the U.S. Senate's sergeant-at-arms and was a top official with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. Now the head of his own consulting business, he is among at least five former law enforcement officials working for Illinois medical marijuana businesses.

"It's a business," says James Smith, a former U.S. Marshals Service inspector who is working with MedMar, which has gotten licenses for two marijuana dispensaries. "It's legal in the state of Illinois. It's important that the program be run right. And security is a major part of it."

Smith says the security needed for medical marijuana facilities is “similar to a bank” or even federal courthouses.


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