Medical Marijuana Bill Goes Up In Smoke In Ill. House

UPDATED 05/06/11 7:07 a.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – A proposal to introduce medical marijuana in Illinois was shot down Thursday by the state House of Representatives.

The measure for a three-year pilot program got only 53 of the 60 votes it needed to pass. Sixty-one state lawmakers voted “no.”

The vote against medical marijuana came despite reports of growing support for the bill. Recent published reports said House Republican Leader Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) has changed positions to support the bill.

Cross’ change in position came after he saw a friend go through a struggle with cancer and learned that medical marijuana can be the only option to ease such suffering, the Daily Herald reported.

The bill would have allowed patients to possess a small amount of cannabis if they are suffering from cancer, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease or Alzheimer’s.

The amount would be limited to 2.5 ounces every 14 days.

The bill would not have allowed prospective medical marijuana merchants to set up marijuana dispensaries, or restaurants cooking with marijuana recipes for medical cannabis cardholders, as in California and Colorado, respectively.

Instead, the bill would have barred people from buying the marijuana anywhere except 59 licensed, not-for-profit sellers.

A previous bill to legalize medical marijuana failed in the state House in January.

This time around, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), said there were 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.

Lang has denied he intends his proposal to be a gateway to the full legalization of marijuana.

But critics have warned that a medical marijuana program could provide cover for illegal marijuana sales.

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.

Do you agree with the state House vote? Leave your comments below.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • travis

    “But critics warned that a medical marijuana program could provide cover for illegal marijuana sales.”…. thiese “illegal marijuana sales” would not be illegal under this bill… also, baised on what evedence? do they(the lawmakers… ie here the House of Represenatives) EVER have to answer those questions, do they ever have to be held accountable for the desicions they make?

    • Idiotas

      The Illinois house is full of know nothing wussies!

  • me

    and couldn’t they come up with an idea to avoid people covering up for illegal sales… where are all the brains… thought this all was about relieving pain…

  • Jeff

    Freaking stupidest thing I have ever seen. Alcohol is legal and marijuana isn’t?
    -Can kill instantly if you drink too much (try guzzling a gallon of vodka)
    -Can cause you to kill others while driving a car dangerously.
    -Statistically causes more violent crime than any other drug.
    -No terminal quantity can be eaten or smoked. You cannot die from overdose.
    -Helps relieve pain from multiple symptoms.
    -Makes people non-violent and passive (reduces violent crime)

    Someone tell me what the heck is going on? This seems so backwards…

    • Time 2 petition the law

      It’s all about the Pharmaceutical and Alcohol lobbyist paid and bought our Representatives … nothing more or less

  • srdib

    how stupid are these lawmakers. i smoke pot instead of taking 4 different meds for the severe chronic pain i have. vicodin, muscle realaxers dont do squat unless i take enough to put me out or in a fog. couple of one hitters from the pipe and i am pain free for most of the day and can sleep at night. i wish these two-faced hypocrites had to deal with this kind of pain or watch one of their loved ones in this pain

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  • tired

    Take more money from the persrciption drug,alcohol and ciggarette companies politicians while turning your back on suffering americans. it’s all about the money,check into why marijuana is illegal in the 1st place and you will see harry anslinger’s bigotry /hearst’s greed have made many law abiding tax payers into criminals.MAKE IT STOP!!!!!

  • V. Morin

    Embarrassing how backward Illinois is!

  • smokey McPot

    Not that it matters. Ive never had a hard time buying more pot. Keep on wasting our time, we’re going to get high whether the house wants us too legally or not. But yeah, lets keep on drinking and driving. Worst scenario with getting stoned, you eat a whole bag of doritos

  • Time 2 petition the law

    Decriminalize Marijuana now !

    How many people are we supporting in prison for Marijuana ?

    Think Nation-wide how much is spent to house prisoners for Marijuana… yes, now they are making money stealing our tax dollars to spend on these prisons for non-violent criminals and crimes.

    Now, Oklahoma wants to pass a law asking for life in prison for Hashish, why…because like Arizona they are making Private Prisons a money making industry sham & scam, paid for by us the U.S. Tax Payer !

  • Dan

    There will come a time when America realizes marijuana is the answer for solving our debt issues.

  • massvocals

    its not law makers its US we vote these creeps in think back to school and vision those bison are they full of it or are they true seeking and constitutionalists are they patriots or for the party surreal ah we have too look at the record as they keeping one on us and making sure the police do as well
    this is war a culture war US and Them we have convenience to have educated the pubic it is the enforcement complex and the law makers who fail to reason with the Hugh numbers , they like making money off of us they love forfeiture they are stealing and plundering your pocket everyone who comes in line with them is not are friend of freedom your employer drug test he one of them your school drug test one of them , we must only support US not them that is the message sent send it back the same way

  • Pothead

    BIG DEAL, I’m quite sure my bag is still at home on my dresser. When thats gone, I’ll get another. SMOKE EM IF YA GOT EM !!!

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