Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Medical Marijuana Could Come to Illinois

Could Medical Marijuana Become Legal In Illinois?

By Charles Jaco
October 19, 2009

Watch story video (2:36) -
http://www.fox2now. com/videobeta/ watch/?watch= 3c4f5236- e643-4da0- 88ad-ab\
f887fb1da5&src= front

ALTON, IL (KTVI-FOX2now. com)

Federal prosecutors and drug agents will no longer go after medical
marijuana clinics or their patients. The announcement, which came Monday
from the Obama White House, reverses the hard-line policy of the Bush
Administration toward medical marijuana which is now legal in 14 states.
Reports are that Illinois could become the 15th state to make it legal.
A bill allowing medical marijuana has passed the Illinois Senate. It's
just waiting action from the Illinois House of Representatives. And
helping lead the medical marijuana drive in Illinois is a most unlikely
lawmaker: State Senator Bill Haine (D) from Alton.

Haine is a former prosecutor and a law-and-order kind of guy.

"I have a reputation as pro-law enforcement. Two years ago the Illinois
police chiefs gave me their public official of the year award," says St.
Sen. Hain.

So it came as a big surprise that Haine is sponsoring a bill that would
legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Illinois.

"Among the cops, it was a Nixon going to China moment. Bill Haine
sponsoring a medical marijuana bill."

Senator Haine's bill would allow the state to license medical marijuana
dispensaries. A patient with a doctor's prescription and a special
license from the state culd buy weed legally.

'Marijuana has been established to be of medical use for these purposes
for many years," says Haine.

By these purposes Haine's bill means conditions like nausea from
chemotherapy, cancer, epilepsy, or AIDS.

That's sometimes not the case in a few states where medical marijuana's
legal, especially California. There suspicious street corner clinics
have dispensed marijuana for vague conditions like anxiety. That's led
to raids in places like Los Angeles County.

Ron Brooks with the National Narcotics Officer Association says, "You
can ask any ER doctor, or ER nurse, EMS worker, fire fighter, cop,
teacher and say, 'do you think this is a good idea to legalize
marijuana?' And they will tell you that is the dumbest idea they have
heard. Absolutely not."

But the argument Bill Haine makes to law enforcement is that the Feds
considering marijuana a Schedule One drug--the most dangerous kind--is

"No one has shown me yet anyone who ever overdosed on marijuana. And yet
marijuana is a Schedule One drug, which I thought was an unreasonable
application by the feds," says Haine.

Senator Haine meets with Illinois House leaders next week trying to get
final approval of the proposal. As to the chance of medical marijuana
becoming law in Illinois, Bill Haine admits that with Illinois facing
financial meltdown medical marijuana may not be at the top of any
lawmakers agenda right now.

http://www.fox2now. com/ktvi- medical-marijuan a-illinois- haine-101909, 0,41\


Senator: Federal shift on medical marijuana 'refreshing'

October 19, 2009 5:19 PM

While seriously ill patients in Illinois with cancer, glaucoma and other
ailments aren't allowed to smoke a joint for pain relief, an Illinois
senator who hopes to change the law says the Obama administration' s new
take on medicinal marijuana enforcement "indicates a refreshing respect
at the federal level" for state autonomy.

The Obama administration said Monday that the federal government will
stop cracking down on users and suppliers of medical marijuana who
conform to state laws.

"It certainly removes an argument that state action could result in
exposing people to a federal charge," said state Sen. William Haine

Haine is sponsoring a bill to make medicinal marijuana legal. State
senators narrowly approved the legislation in May and it's awaiting
action in the House, which could take up the bill next month or early
next year.

The proposed law calls for a three-year program in which patients with
qualifying ailments, such as glaucoma, cancer or Alzheimer's disease,
would be issued registry identification cards by the Illinois Department
of Public Health. They could have up to six cannabis plants during a
30-day period, of which no more than three could be mature.

--Kristen Schorsch

http://www.chicagob reakingnews. com/2009/ 10/senator- federal-shift- on-medi\
cal-marijuana- refreshing. html

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