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Medical Marijuana Bill Advances In Illinois House

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Photo Of Marijuana Plants. (AP Photo)

Photo Of Marijuana Plants. (AP Photo)

CBS Chicago (con't)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) — If you suffer from chronic pain or are a cancer, HIV or Hepatitis C patient, you may soon be able to get a 2.5-ounce dose of medical marijuana.

A bill that would allow those patients to possess marijuana as a prescription passed an Illinois house committee by a narrow vote Wednesday.

Lawmakers approved the bill 6-5 along party lines, with Democrats supporting the bill and Republicans opposing.

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The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), says this time there are tighter restrictions on the amount of medical marijuana distributed to patients, and he’s taken out the grow-your-own provisions that opponents criticized during the last General Assembly.

“Under this bill, they would go to a dispensaries which would be businesses set up in the state of Illinois to sell this product and purchase a certain amount in a given period of time. The amount is 2.5 ounces every 14 days.”

“A database would be created for people who buy the medical marijuana to make sure they do not buy more than 2.5 ounces every 14 days,” Lang said. “So this is going to be a more controlled piece of legislation.”

The bill limits the illnesses that would qualify for medical marijuana to cancer, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

The updated bill is on its way to the House floor. Lang’s previous medical marijuana proposal failed the chamber by a narrow margin during the January lame duck session.

The state Senate approved of the measure. Lang hopes to have it sent to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk by next month.

Technically, Illinois authorized medical marijuana in 1978. But implementation was left to the Public Health Department and it never took action, so the law has been in limbo.

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