Illinois House approves medical marijuana bill
Bill 1 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana,
establish regulated system of distribution
Legislation advances to Senate
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[April 18, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- In a 61-57 vote,
the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday
that would allow patients with serious illnesses such as cancer,
multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS to obtain and use marijuana for
medical purposes with their doctors' approval. This marks the first
time the House has approved such a measure. The bill will now be
transmitted to the Senate, which approved a less restrictive version
of the bill in 2009.
"I have been diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable cancer that
in all likelihood will someday take my life," said Jessica Bauer, a
27-year-old Rockford resident with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. "I
would like to live out the rest of my days with dignity and enjoy
what time I have left with my 5-year-old daughter.
"Medical marijuana allows me to do that," she said. "I shouldn't
have to live in fear of arrest for using it or have to resort to the
illicit market to obtain it."
House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, would allow
Illinois residents with certain medical conditions to possess up to
2.5 ounces of marijuana, which they would be able to access from one
of up to 60 dispensing centers regulated by the Illinois Department
of Licensing and Professional Regulation. Marijuana would be grown
by up to 22 cultivation centers, one per state police district,
regulated by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Eighteen states allow patients with qualifying conditions to use
medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians.
Similar legislation has been introduced in 14 additional states this
year, and it is anticipated in three additional states.
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"There is a scientific consensus that marijuana is a safe and
effective treatment for nausea, pain, loss of appetite and other
symptoms of debilitating illnesses," said Dan Riffle, deputy
director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project.
"It should be up to medical professionals, not law enforcement
professionals, to decide whether medical marijuana is the right
treatment for their patients."
[Text from file
received from the
Marijuana Policy Project]