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Dec 5, 2012:
Expected vote did not happen today concerning Illinois HB0030

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Quinn signs Illinois medical marijuana bill into law

Source: ChiTrib August 1, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn today signed a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Illinois that supporters say is the strictest in the nation.

Jim Champion, a military veteran from Somonauk who suffers from multiple sclerosis, joined the governor at a bill signing ceremony at the University of Chicago. He told of the relief he gets from marijuana, which his wife indicated allows him to more than cut in half the number of pills he takes. Champion said he is glad he'll soon no longer be violating the law to get pain relief.

The law takes effect Jan. 1, but state regulators are likely to need months to come up with the rules. That means it could be until next summer before those suffering from 42 illnesses including cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis can legally seek relief through marijuana.

Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune

Illinois House passes medical marijuana bill

Source: ChiTrib April 17 2013

The Illinois House today approved a measure to let people use marijuana for medical purposes, giving the proposal its best chance of becoming law in recent years.

The House sent the bill to the Senate on a 61-57 vote. The Senate previously has passed similar legislation.

Proponents say the legislation, which would set up a four-year pilot program, would be the most restrictive in the nation. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have approved some form of marijuana use for medical purposes.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, had come close in the House but previously fallen short. Passing the House was viewed as the biggest hurdle in the legislature because the Senate previously has passed a similar bill, though not this year.

At the Capitol earlier today, Gov. Pat Quinn said he is “open-minded” on the issue. Quinn said he heard a story from a military veteran during a meeting in the governor’s statehouse office that provided compelling reasons to use cannabis for relief of pain.

“He was suffering from war wounds and found definite help by medical use of marijuana,” Quinn said. “I was quite impressed by his heartfelt feeling. I’m certainly open-minded to it.”

Marijuana, despite drawing questions and controversy, is seen by supporters as a progressive and safer alternative to harsh medication in treatments of various chronic illnesses like cancer, HIV or multiple sclerosis.

Under this bill, an individual could be prescribed no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana during a two-week period. A doctor who prescribes marijuana must have had a prior and ongoing relationship with the patient—a move to lessen the chance that doctors could give out prescription weed willy-nilly.

Additional restrictions and regulations create numerous other hurdles before a person could get cannabis. The prescribing doctor must be licensed to practice in Illinois.

The House action comes after Cook County, the city of Chicago and some other cities have decriminalized possession of marijuana, allowing violators to be ticketed rather than booked into the jail.


Illinois lawmakers go home for Christmas without much done

Source: RRSTAR

Illinois lawmakers went home this afternoon without taking final action on major legislation including medical marijuana, pension reform, drivers licenses for illegal aliens and Rockford's "Reclaiming First" bill. That bill would allow Winnebago County to increase the bed tax on hotels to expand amateur sports venues.

The "lame duck" session continues Jan. 3 for four to five days, said Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford. the new General Assembly takes over Jan. 9, 2013.

"We did pass a resolution commending the United Way on its 125th anniversary," Syverson said.

"Does that count as substantive action?"


Illinois Medical Marijuana Vote Delayed until December

Source: THE DAILY CHRONIC

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois will not become the 19th medical marijuana state, at least for another month. The Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday put off a vote to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes because the measure lacked the support for approval, its chief sponsor said.

Democratic Representative Lou Lang did not request a vote on his proposal because he did not want it to fail.

“He didn’t call it because he was short of the votes,” said Lang’s spokeswoman, Beth Hamilton. Lang had earlier predicted the measure would pass if a few undecided members shifted to support.

The proposal for a three-year pilot program would make Illinois the second most populous state in the nation after California to allow medical marijuana. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington state voters decided on November 6 to allow recreational use of cannabis.

Lang said he could try again to pass the proposal when the Illinois legislature meets in early December.

The Illinois bill would be the most restrictive in the country, according to Lang.

Under the Illinois bill, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of 30 debilitating medical conditions, register with the Department of Public Health and have written certification from their physician. Patients would be limited to no more than 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of marijuana every two weeks.

Some Republicans in the Illinois House said they opposed legalizing medical marijuana because it could be a “gateway drug” to abuse of other illegal substances. Others said they were not convinced that the benefits of smoking marijuana for certain medical conditions outweighed the potential negative consequences.