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Medical Marijuana Bill Could Pass in Illinois

Medical Marijuana Bill Could Pass in Illinois

Although a piece of legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Illinois failed by a slim margin last December, a Republican leader in the House has shifted his support, raising the chances that the bill could pass.  Tom Cross, the House Minority Leader, announced last week that he would support legalization.  His change of heart, he said, was because he spoke with some people who use medical marijuana, including a disabled veteran. 

He said that the key to the legislation’s success was that it limited medical marijuana access to people with particularly painful diseases, like cancer, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.  The bill limits each user to two ounces of usable marijuana or six cannabis plants, users cannot drive within 12 hours of smoking, and as Cross pointed out, would only be accessible to people with “debilitating medical conditions.”  The Illinois Department of Public Health would also be instructed to disseminate information about the health risks associated with marijuana abuse.

Cross’s support was disturbing for David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute, who wrote an editorial to the Chicago Tribune which concluded, “Medical marijuana is bad policy, bad for families, bad for society, and will cost the state more money for drug rehab.”

But some drug experts pointed out that marijuana could replace other drugs that are commonly used to treat chronic pain, like Oxycontin and Vicodin.  Both are addictive and lethal if overdosed, neither of which have proven to be issues with marijuana.

Despite what the Illinois Family Institute, this seems like a good piece of legislation, especially if it provides alternatives to Oxycontin and Vicodin.  It’s also telling that Cross changed his mind after speaking with the people who are actually affected by the legislation – something that perhaps more politicians should try.

 

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62 comments

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10:56AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Tiffany P. or anyone worried from that post

For your first concern, marijuana is not physically addictive, it can be psychologically addictive because it causes strong and positive feelings (the sad stoned person is rare). Eating spicy food has been shown to cause the brain to release endorphins, therefore it is also psychologically addictive to some degree (I love both, but oddly those times I crave spicy food are more powerful than when I want to smoke). You can get a stronger (and very arguably more unhealthy) addiction if you eat fast food every day.

For the second concern. The emerging scientific field that pamphlet tried to explain is called epigenetics. It is the study on how our behavior can change our DNA. It is a fact that our literal DNA does not change, but our body does put protein markers on our DNA that make certain parts easier or harder to read, which results in them being expressed to a greater or lesser degree. Research suggests that these markers are passed to our children along with the DNA, which explains lingering effects on children born who's grandparents lived through a major famine. Hypothetically this means you might form a marker on your DNA from smoking cigarettes that makes you more prone to cancer, and then pass that on making your children or grandchildren more prone to cancer. While that sounds scary the only thing that has been researched so far is chronic stress' effect on epigenetics. At the current level of knowledge (which

5:27AM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

You are wrong charles for legalize use of marijuana you may qualify for medical marijuana cards if you are suffer from any conditions.

7:05PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

u read a pamphlet?
have u ever lived WITH PAIN?
how about suffered KIDNEY FAILURE?
have u any idea the damage other drugs being pused on society do to the body? not just short term, but long term as well?
even TYLENOL will wreak havok apon your kidneys & cause drowsiness as well. ibuprofen might as well be a handful of ballbearings to your back. alcohol which is perfectly legal for adults to consume gets abused & causes tragic deaths & rips families apart every single day one stinking drop at a time.
& those are just superficial remedies. NOT EVEN SCRATCHIN THE SURFACE OF HOW OUR GOVT SUPRESSES NATURAL HARB LIKE CANNABIS TO FURTHER BIG PHARMA & EXPLOIT MORE FUNDING, NOT CURE ANYTHING. there arent enough characters in this this field.
u admit u never used the stuff, u have no idea of the benefits it can provide WITHOUT A SINGLE SHRED OF EVIDENCE IT CAUSES ANY HARM & IT DOES NOT; ONLY INVOKES HATERS & LOOKY LOOS TO NAY SAY WHAT OTHER PEOPLE CAN & CANT OR SHOULD & SHOULDNT DO.
OUTTA MY BUSINESS, NOSY.
MIND YOUR OWN, IGNORANT. GROW THE EFF UP, CHILD.
walk 3 steps in the shoes of someone with systematic illness, chronic pain, rheumatic inflammation, immune predisposition, kidney failure, digestive problems, metabolic conditions, & mood disorder, ESPECIALLY WITH THESE THINGS COMBINED, & youll see that YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE TELLING SOMEONE ELSE WHAT RIGHTS THEY HAVE.
OPEN YOUR EYES.
WAKE UP.
OR
BACK OFF!

6:18AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

I hope they do pass the bill I have seen how it has helped people I know. Sure like any thing it has its draw backs but most are not as severe as synthetic drugs.

6:53PM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

Legalize marijuana! are you kidding me. what I was told in health class just 5 years ago. marijuana is addictive, its a "gateway drug", its this its that! none of those are accurate! alcohol is legal....our health system gives synthetic heroin to their patients and you're telling me marijuana should be illegal??? Something needs change with that. and first comment from tiffany. inaccurate. no science will prove that. alcohol has more of a potential to cause children deformity. legalize, quit pointing out any negatives and look at why it even became illegal in the first place.Our state needs some help, this is a good way to help it! i cant tell you how much more of good things come from legalizing pot then bad things. Its time to legalize and quit bullshitting

2:32AM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

I grew up in a country town where there was little to do but illegally smoke pot. (I personally never touched the stuff.) Many friends got addicted or were just casual users. Most of them, especially heavier users, have developed mental illnesses as a result. At least one just from my small circle is on a disability pension because of it.

I once read a pamphlet that said that marijuana can alter your DNA so that a few generations down the track - i.e. your grandchildren or great-grandchildren - have a greater chance of there being something with them (deformity). Before anyone scoffs at this, this has not been disproven with proper scientific analysis but the information comes from longitudal studies on it.

Two very good reasons not to legalise marijuana. Though I definitely prefer the smell of that to cigarette smoke!

12:18AM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

Yes I do believe it should be legalized. I myself can't stand the stuff, for all my medical problems I take actual pain meds but I also know they are playing hell on my stomach and liver, on the other hand my brother who is a severe diabetic could get no relief from pain meds so he went to marijuana instead and now has great relief from the pain and it is not hurting his stomach and liver and kidneys which LEGAL pain meds cause over a long period of time. I use to not believe people when they said marijuana actually helped them-I figured it was an excuse to just get high but after seeing my brother, who due to his being a diabetic, has lost one leg and his foot on the other leg I now believe that this is actually helping those with severe medical problems. The only down fall is keeping it out of our childrens hands but is there really any stopping them if this is what they choose to do. People using it just need to be careful and use common sense like not smoking it around their children or those who have no real reason to be doing it.

10:53PM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

I agree with Toni! And I hope that legalization is proposed in more states!

8:25PM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

Pharmacys cant mark up the profit 500%+, as they can "PER PILL" which has sent Americans in a bad unaffordable state with the health care plan/reform that currently exists.

7:41PM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

Its just a weed that flowers in your mind ........

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