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Medical Marijuana Gaining Traction in Illinois House

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House moved one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana today, when it adopted a Republican-approved amendment to the latest proposal.

Helping sick people through legalization has long been a high priority for state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, the bill's sponsor.

After speaking with patients who benefited from the drug, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, agreed that Illinois should decriminalize medical marijuana.

Opponents believe the Illinois needs to back away from the legislation, until cannabis is recognized as medicine by the federal government.

"FDA approval is critical for anybody that's going to be taking medicine," said Jeanie Lowe, a lobbyist for Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems.

"We believe that there is a system set up in our country to regulate our medicines, and that we should not circumvent that," she added.

The proposal has also been criticized by the state's business community as an affront to drug-free workplace policies.

Despite the lack of federal approval, 15 other states and the District of Columbia have given patients access to the illicit herb. Illinois would do so through certified dispensaries, under Lang's proposal.

Changes adopted today could attract additional GOP support. Registered employees of the cannabis dispensaries would face harsher penalties for drug crimes, under the proposal.

Lang's previous, less-restrictive medical marijuana bill fell only a four votes shy of the 60 needed for passage.

In January, minutes after the measure failed, Lang told reporters that he would "continue to press on - on this particular piece of legislation, or some version of it - until I pass it."

The House could take up debate of the measure within coming days.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: stltoday.com
Author: Hannah Hess
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: STLtoday.com
Website: Medical marijuana gaining traction in Illinois House
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