IL : Medical marijuana law getting further than usual in Illinois

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by Pompo, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Pompo Pompo

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    Medical marijuana law getting further than usual in Illinois
    3/28/09|St. Louis Post-Dispatch| by Kari Andren - Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau


    A proposal to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes is once again smoldering in the Illinois Legislature. This time, opponents worry that it might actually catch fire.

    Twin measures before the Illinois House and Senate would allow patients to use marijuana to alleviate chronic pain and nausea when other treatments have failed. The list of conditions includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's disease and Alzheimer's.

    The medical marijuana debate comes to Springfield almost every year, but Statehouse activity around the issue lately has been more frenetic than usual. Earlier this month, one measure won House committee approval for the first time. Last week, pro- and anti-legalization activists — including police officers opposed to the plan — packed into a Senate committee hearing where another measure advanced on a 6-2 vote.

    One reason for the heightened activity could be that state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, a major proponent in the past, became Senate president this year.

    "That's a very big concern, absolutely," said Jeanie Lowe, an anti-legalization activist who has been at the forefront of Springfield's annual marijuana wars.

    Lowe also questioned whether lawmakers facing a state budget deficit might want to legalize marijuana so it could be taxed in the future. "Seems like they tax anything that moves," Lowe said.

    Also, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced this month that authorities would no longer prosecute federal marijuana violations against people in compliance with state laws.

    But for both sides in the Illinois debate, the main issue is whether the medicinal benefits outweigh the potential dangers.

    "I don't look at the medical marijuana bill as a bill about drugs; I look at it as a bill about health care," said state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, the bill's House sponsor. "Here's a way ... we can provide a huge amount of relief of pain and suffering for people who live in the state of Illinois."

    State Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, sponsor of the Senate measure, said legalizing marijuana for the seriously ill would prevent them from "turning to the dark side" and going outside the law to get it. Haine was formerly state's attorney of Madison County.

    That argument doesn't persuade lawmakers like state Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Highland, a social conservative and a pharmacist. Stephens says the purported benefits of marijuana for controlling nausea and increasing appetite can also be achieved with Marinol, a prescription medication.

    "If we pass a bill that allows individuals to grow and have what is otherwise an illegal drug for the rest of the community, you're going to see that the illegal use is going to expand," Stephens said.

    In last week's Senate committee hearing, Illinois State Police Capt. Mark Henry specifically cited a provision that would allow patients to grow as many as seven marijuana plants at a time. Henry said seven plants would produce more than 3,500 joints per year — meaning a patient would have to smoke about nine joints a day to use all the marijuana grown. He said police worry that the surplus would end up on the street.

    The debate has extended beyond lobbyists and policymakers to patients themselves, who have stood up on both sides of the issue.

    Cancer patient James Ware said he smoked marijuana out of desperation while undergoing chemotherapy when other medications, including Marinol, did not help. "The medical use of marijuana was a godsend," Ware told the Senate panel last week.

    The bills are HB2514 and SB1381.

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  2. DoobieBrother DoobieBrother

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    "Seems like they tax anything that moves," Lowe said.

    How does that even make sense? haha

    Anti-legalization freaks are some of the loopiest individuals I've ever seen. They don't even know what scares them, because it's stuff they just make up in their heads without logic or rationality oiling their gears. How can anyone take them seriously?
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  3. DoobieBrother DoobieBrother

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    Aaaah, such a conveniently happy marriage of conservative politics and pharmaceuticals.
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  4. Buzzby Buzzby

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    Mr. Pharmacist - how are people with extreme nausea supposed to use an oral anti-nausea drug? If they can't keep it down, it can't do them any good. In general, people who have tried both Marinol and herbal cannabis report that herbal cannabis is superior for relieving their symptoms. And Marinol is so expensive that no one without high-powered insurance can afford it.

    Uh... Why? There's plenty of marijuana in the black market and it would still be illegal for medical marijuana patients to give it to people who are not qualified. Legal medical grows don't produce marijuana in commercial quantities. Medicinal marijuana hasn't changed usage rates where it's legal. Illegal marijuana is so ubiquitous that medical marijuana would be insignificant.

    Where do you get seeds for plants that produce joints? That would be a lot easier than rolling them myself. :D The federal government is still providing a few patients with medical marijuana from an old pilot program. They get a big can of joints every month. Each can contains 300 cigarette-size joints. Let me see... Yes, that would be ten joints a day or 3,600 joints per year.

    It's highly unlikely that you'd get enough weed from seven indoor plants to produce 3,500 joints. OTOH, you could grow seven plants three times a year indoors.
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  5. mud_head mud_head

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    Buzzby, you really should try for a place in the senate. You would rape their minds. Plain and simple.
  6. byrned byrned

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    "Seems like they tax anything that moves"

    Marijuana doesn't move.

    lol. That's all I have to say to these buffoons.
  7. detsiwt detsiwt

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    I second mud_head.

    And it's funny that we always see the same bogus arguments from the anti-legalization movement.

    Why hasn't it caught on that these argument carry no substance?
  8. SleepyJohn SleepyJohn

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    Now, they're getting close to home. I hope they don't ruin it. Pills are nice, but ,. sometimes they just don't hit the spot. Marinol, was prescribed to Me in my State. It was OK, but it was in there with allot of other pills, from My MD. Then, "they" took them off some ,list! Why don't they watch out, who they're playing with!? Opium is Way Illegal, but it's sap is "refined",and gives pain relief. Too bad it also takes away My apatite! I can't wait around, for somebody to stop the fire!
  9. Frylok Frylok

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    They know, but now everyone else is beginning to see as well. That's the problem with lying, once you're caught, it's all over. Truth has a funny way of seeping out of wherever you try and lock it up.
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  10. byrned byrned

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    I hate how people can't simply wallow in the misery of their own lies, but rather they have to spread rumors and false-truths; its like the plague, only worse. They know they are wrong and we know they are wrong, but they continue their conquest, no matter the cost. People with a myriad of diseases suffer every day because they cannot obtain the respite they deserve, yet these anti-pot activists are still somehow able to sleep at night...

    They say they are trying to help people, yet they turn a blind eye to all those they harm so deeply.
  11. Rushbeno Rushbeno

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    The fact that any medical practioner would suggest that Marinol is anything near as effective as Marijuana just enforces my suspision many doctors are just not that knowledgeable these days. Marinol is an absolute joke and RIPOFF courtisey of the pharm. companies and doctors that claim it's effectiveness.
    If a patient says that smoking marijuana aleviates their suffering, then why should there be another word said except "take this prescription to the local dispencery and see if they can take care of you".

    The world is-a changin folks............. (Maybe Obama's realizing the billions the coutry could save by ending the drug war)

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