Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money

CHICAGO (AP) — Two Libertarian political candidates are asking a federal court to declare unconstitutional an Illinois ban on political contributions from the medical marijuana industry.

Claire Ball of Addison and Scott Schluter of Marion filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago last week. They say they support marijuana legalization and want to solicit campaign donations from the marijuana industry. Illinois law bars such contributions.

Ball is running for state comptroller. Schluter is running for state representative in southern Illinois’ 117th District, a seat currently held by Democrat John Bradley. They argue banning campaign donations from marijuana businesses infringes on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

The lawsuit names Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and members of the Illinois Board of Elections.

Madigan spokeswoman Annie Thompson says the office has until Dec. 10 to respond to the lawsuit.