New Attempt to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Illinois

By Margaret Lyons in News on Mar 6, 2008 6:48PM

2008_3_6.youputyourweedinthere.jpgIs Illinois heading towards legalized medical marijuana? State Senator John Cullerton (pretty website!) hopes so. He's sponsoring a bill that the Senate Public Health Committee approved 6-4 yesterday. A similar measure failed in the Senate last year, but try, try again.

The Alternative Treatment for Serious Diseases Causing Chronic Pain and Debilitating Conditions bill would allow some patients to possess "no more than 8 plants and two and one-half ounces of usable marijuana." The bill defines qualifying conditions as

cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions;

...a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis...

Affected patients would be eligible with a doctor's certification to receive an ID card from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington have similar laws.

Apparently Illinois already has a law that decriminalizes medical marijuana use and has since 1978, but the Public Health Department never did anything with it, so it's just kind of flapping around out there in the ether, not helping anyone. [Senate Bill 2865, Rockford Register Star, AP, Salem News, The Daily Journal, image via Aforero]