Lawsuit challenges ban on marijuana campaign money

CHICAGO (AP) — Two Libertarian political candidates have asked a federal court to declare unconstitutional an Illinois ban on political contributions from the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

The candidates — Claire Ball of Addison and Scott Schluter of Marion — filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago in which they say they support marijuana legalization and want to solicit campaign donations from marijuana businesses. Illinois law bars such contributions.

Ball is running for state comptroller. Schluter is running for state representative in southern Illinois’ 117th District.

They argue that banning campaign donations from marijuana businesses infringes on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, citing among other cases the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the case known as Citizens United.