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Nurses, AIDS Group Endorse Medical Marijuana


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With a vote on the Senate floor imminent, two of Illinois's leading health care organizations have thrown their weight behind the Illinois medical marijuana bill, SB 650. The measure, sponsored by Sen. John Cullerton (D—Chicago) would protect seriously ill patients from arrest for using marijuana to relieve pain, nausea, muscle spasms and similar symptoms of specific medical conditions, if their medical practitioner has recommended it.

"The Illinois Nurses Association supports this legislation because nurses know that there are some patients who suffer excruciating pain that cannot always be relieved by standard pain medications," said INA President Kathleen Perry, Ph.D., R.N. "The INA supports the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana under appropriate prescriber supervision and supports the ability of health care providers to discuss and recommend the therapeutic use of marijuana without the threat of criminal penalties."

"New research has shown that medical marijuana can be both helpful and safe for many people living with HIV," said John Peller, director of state affairs for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. "A University of California study found that marijuana relieves a type of incapacitating nerve pain that causes great suffering to people debilitated by AIDS, while other research has shown that vaporization allows patients to use medical marijuana without the risks of smoking. It's time for Illinois to act so that the sick and suffering don't have to face arrest and jail."

The statements by the Nurses Association and the AIDS Foundation continue a trend of medical and professional support for compassionate legal access to medical marijuana. Over 900 Illinois doctors, more than 300 Illinois nurses and 50 Illinois clergy members have individually endorsed SB 650. In addition, the American Public Health Association, American Bar Association, American Nurses Association, and Lymphoma Foundation of America have issued statements of support for access to medical marijuana nationwide.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: Marijuana Policy Project (Washington, D.C.)
Contact: info@mpp.org
Copyright: 2007 Marijuana Policy Project
Website: Marijuana Policy Project - Home
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