House Bill 1
By Steve Elliott
Almost a year after the first medical marijuana bill -- and a rather mild one, at that -- failed in Georgia, suffering patients and those fighting to relieve their pain hope that won't happen again.
As lawmakers prepare for the next General Assembly in January, a poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows that 80 percent of Georgians support legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, reports Anita Oh at WMAZ.
Since Congress just approved, and President Obama signed into law, a spending measure that eliminated funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct medical marijuana raids on complying businesses in states where medicinal cannabis is legal, those favoring a change of law at the state level have more rhetorical ammunition.
After testifying in September before a medical marijuana study committee led by Republican state Rep. Allen Peake, Katie Crosby, 26, started a Facebook group called Hope For Silent Sufferers. "Imagine, before you even have a thought in the morning, you wake up, just in agony," she said. "A living hell, a living nightmare to be honest."
The group, which advocates for the legalization of medical marijuana in Georgia, has nearly 20,000 supporters. Through it, Crosby has connected with people like Pamela Skinner, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996.
By Steve Elliott
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), a trade association representing state-legal cannabis businesses, will host the Midwest CannaBusiness Symposium on August 24 in Chicago. The Symposium will bring cannabis business professionals from around the country to provide insight to Illinois’ prospective medical marijuana investors and entrepreneurs, setting the stage for a responsible, sustainable, and effective medical marijuana industry.
NCIA is celebrating Illinois' advancement in medical marijuana policy with the upcoming symposium, featuring bill sponsor Illinois Rep. Lou Lang, Harborside Health Center's Steve DeAngelo, and 15 leaders in marijuana business with decades of combined experience.
Governor Pat Quinn on Thursday signed Illinois House Bill 1, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, making Illinois the 20th state with a medical marijuana program and the 15th to allow regulated, state-legal medical marijuana providers.
The bill, sponsored by Representative Lou Lang (D – Skokie), creates a framework for the licensure of as many as 22 cultivation facilities and 60 dispensing organizations to provide medical marijuana to qualifying patients. Extensive security, license qualification, inventory, and auditing requirements will ensure that medical cannabis produced and sold within the regulated market will be closely controlled and the individuals responsible for it will be held to high standards.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Yesterday, the Illinois Senate voted 35-21 in favor of an historic bill that would allow people with certain ailments to use cannabis to ease their symptoms, if recommended by their doctor.
The bill, HB 1, which would allow Illinois residents with qualifying conditions the right to obtain 2.5 ounces every two weeks from a licensed dispensary, is expected to be signed by an "open-minded" Governor Quinn.
"We are embarking here on a way to achieve relief, compassionate relief, consistent with the law (with) a system which avoids abuse," according to the bill's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Bill Haine of Alton. "It's the tightest, most controlled legislative initiative in the United State related to medical cannabis."
"This is about individuals that are having a difficult time finding solutions to their cancer pains, that are finding other solutions and are going to the black market buying it anyway. We must find these solutions," Senator William Delgado, 2nd Legislative District (D), proclaimed on the Senate floor.
Proponents say cannabis can relieve continual pain without detrimental side effects of other pharmaceutical drugs.
House Bill 1 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana and establish regulated system of distribution advances to Senate
By Steve Elliott
The Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on a 61-57 vote legislation that would allow patients with serious illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes with their doctors’ approval. This marks the first time the House has approved such a measure.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate, which approved a less restrictive version of the bill in 2009.
“I have been diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable cancer that in all likelihood will someday take my life,” said Jessica Bauer, a 27-year-old Rockford resident with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “I would like to live out the rest of my days with dignity and enjoy what time I have left with my 5-year-old daughter.
“Medical marijuana allows me to do that,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to live in fear of arrest for using it or have to resort to the illicit market to obtain it.”
By Steve Elliott
A group of doctors on Tuesday at a news conference announced the support of nearly 250 Illinois physicians for allowing patients with serious illnesses to get and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
"For many patients, the treatment can sometimes be worse than the disease," said Dr. Margaret Millar of Moline, one of the endorsing physicians. "Having seen the devastating, and all-too-often lethal tollthat legally prescribed narcotics can take, I support medical marijuana as a safer, milder treatment that carries no risk of fatal overdose."
The doctors specifically signed on the following statement:
"Licensed medical practitioners should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if their medical professionals have told them that such use is likely to be beneficial."
The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on House Bill 1, which would make Illinois the 19th state the allow patients with certain conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians.
It would also establish a network of state-regulated cultivation centers and dispensaries to provide marijuana to qualified patients.
By Steve Elliott
A bill to allow Illinois residents to use medical marijuana in the treatment of their debilitating medical conditions moved one step closer to becoming law on Wednesday when it was approved 11-4 by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now heads to the full 118-member House of Representatives.
House Bill 1, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), a friend to medical marijuana patients for years, would allow people suffering from specific medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS to use medicinal cannabis if their doctors recommend it.
Qualified patients would be able to get marijuana from one of up to 60 dispensaries, which would acquire the cannabis from up to 22 cultivation centers. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Financial & Professional Regulation would control the cultivation, acquisition, and distribution of marijuana.
By L.E. Hlavach
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House sponsor of prior efforts to legalize medicinal use of marijuana has already renewed efforts in the new General Assembly.
A medical marijuana bill was the first House legislation introduced Wednesday in the new legislative session. It is sponsored by state Rep. Louis Lang, D-Skokie.
“We have a new General Assembly, new people, new thoughts, new views of these issues,” Lang said Thursday. “We have national polls showing that the vast majority of Americans think people ought to have a product that their doctor thinks they ought to have.”
Lang said medical marijuana “is less controversial now that 19 other states have approved it and two other states have said that marijuana is legal for all purposes.”
“The idea that we would approve marijuana to help very sick people feel better should not be as controversial as it is,” he said.
Under the proposed law, certain patients could obtain medical-grade marijuana from state-regulated dealers for use in their homes.
Lang has been trying for four years to get approval for a medical marijuana law in Illinois.
In the past, Republicans led the charge to kill the legislation.
Lang said the House nearly approved the proposal last session, and he seemed optimistic about the chance of passage this time.