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Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Committee


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Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer and other chronic diseases would be able to treat their symptoms with marijuana under legislation the Senate public health committee approved on Tuesday.

Under SB 650, doctors would recommend medical marijuana patients to the Illinois Department of Human Services, which would issue special cards protecting them from arrest, prosecution, criminal or civil penalty and disciplinary action by a professional licensing board.

Qualifying patients and their caregivers would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 12 cannabis plants, which must be grown in a locked indoor facility. But abusing that qualification would bring tougher penalties than current state law provides for marijuana use and possession.

State Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, the chief sponsor, said the bill is not intended to legalize marijuana for everyone, despite perceptions to the contrary.

"It's a very compassionate, tightly drafted bill," he said.

Illinois law enforcement groups are opposed, saying the measure would be difficult to enforce and could make the drug more accessible to young people.

"It opens the door wide open to all kinds of problems," said Limey Nargelenas, spokesman for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

But Julie Falco, a multiple sclerosis patient who testified before the committee, said eating marijuana brownies three times a day has made a "profound difference" in her quality of life, and she and other patients should be able to use the drug legally.

"Potential treatment should not be withheld for other than viable medical reasons," she said.

Six members of the committee agreed with her, but four voted no, including state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, and state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Eleven other states have similar laws on the books, but they can be overruled by federal regulations banning marijuana for medical use.

Source: The News-Gazette.com
Copyright: 2007 The News-Gazette
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Website: The News-Gazette.com: Your Source for News and Advertising in East Central Illinois


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Good deal. Even if the laws are tighter on those who get busted abusing their ability, it makes sense, it will make the bill be more acceptable to the people worried about the selling of pot and hopefully make it more in favor of the general public so those who are ill can be medicated.


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The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Real close it is. A bill similar to California's while allowing (among other things) 12 plants with indoor growing only. But still.. another step forward in the long march.:3: :peace:

"It opens the door wide open to all kinds of problems,"
Illinois Police Spokesman

"It's a very compassionate, tightly drafted bill,"
State Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago

I would say "The problems are minimal, the compassion great.."


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yeah to reverse the damage done by the war on drugs we cant just legalize it tomorrow. taking baby steps and letting conservitive americans learn that the ganj isnt bad at all and will help make society better and more peaceful. glad to see more and more states come around and allow for medical use. smoke it up for me in Illinois, ive been hit by the WOD and are now getting tested. that and i aint got no weed! :yikes:
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