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Medicinal Marijuana Bill passes Illinois Senate

The Illinois Senate passed Bill 1381 yesterday which would allow for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. The bill will now go to the House for a vote. In order for the bill to pass the Senate, it needed a yes vote from at least 30 senators. The bill passed with a 30-28 vote.

The bill would allow for marijuana to be prescribed by doctors for patients suffering from painful diseases such as HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, or Crohn’s disease. Patients would only be able to receive a prescription for cannabis from a doctor with whom they have an established relationship with. Once a patient receives a prescription for marijuana, he/she or the primary caregiver would then be able to grow cannabis in their home or retrieve it from a licensed dispensary.

When asked about their motives for passing the bill, many senators expressed purposes for relieving pain and being compassionate. Many senators disapprove of the bill because of concerns about the lack of background checks in the bill. Senator Dale Righter called the bill “an invitation for trouble” because the bill does not require criminal background checks for patients or their caregivers before they are allowed to grow marijuana in their homes.

The bill is now en route to the Illinois House. It is questionable how far the bill will get in the house. This is only the second time that a bill legalizing marijuana has ever reached a vote in either Illinois chamber. As of now, only 13 states have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana, but many other states have proposals pending.

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