Illinois Legislature shoots down medical marijuana bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • The Illinois House on Thursday narrowly voted down the authorization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The bill would have allowed people suffering from chronic pain or nausea caused by certain debilitating conditions to be prescribed a potent dose of cannabis to alleviate the symptoms. It fell four votes short of passage.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, pledged to continue pushing toward legalizing the illicit herb. “I am going to continue to press on — on this particular piece of legislation, or some version of it — until I pass it,” Lang said. “Next year, the year after … I’m a young man. I’ll be here awhile.”

For Jaime Clayton, a Grafton man who has coped with AIDS for 22 years, approval of the measure has been “a long time coming.” He participated in a clinical trial of medical marijuana at the University of California San Francisco in 2002 and has been an advocate ever since. A study said trial participants enjoyed increased appetite and weight gain without weakening their immune systems.

“A little bit of relief, a little bit of compassion … that’s the selling point,” Clayton said.

The bill would have established a three-year pilot program for Illinois. Opponents say legalizing marijuana for medical purposes would send the wrong message to youth, potentially serving as a gateway drug.

via : STL Today

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