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Illinois lawmakers to consider controversial medical marijuana bill

Among the issues to be tackled by Illinois lawmakers in the coming weeks is the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana. As we've previously mentioned, the measure has been controversial among Illinois lawmakers.

The bill, HB 30, includes the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which would permit qualified patients under medical care to buy and use up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana during a two-week period.

According to the pro-marijuana non-profit group NORML, legislative support for legalizing medical marijuana in the state House of Representatives was not offered by the House of Representatives in previous voted on the issue. The state Senate, however, approved the medical marijuana bill in Illinois back in 2009.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie. According to Lang, 92 legislators have privately expressed support for the bill, but are hesitant to publicly vote in its favor for political reasons.

At present, 18 other states have legalized the medical use of marijuana under doctor supervision. But it is also the case that law restricting use of the drug are softening. As our readers know, both Washington and Colorado recently passed ballot measures permitting the recreational use of marijuana.

Critics of the medical marijuana bill say it will make the drug more widely available and increase the burden on law enforcement agencies. They also point out that the drug is still illegal at the federal level, regardless of how states decide to handle it. Supporters, of course, feel that medical marijuana programs are a valuable public resource for relieving those who suffer from various chronic conditions.

Source: Huffington Post, "Medical Marijuana Illinois: Veto Session Could Make Legal Weed A Reality," November 26, 2012

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