SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Sick military veterans who want medical marijuana would get it more easily under legislation that's getting committee approval.
The House Judiciary Committee sent Rep. Lou Lang's bill to the floor for consideration.
The Skokie Democrat is the sponsor of Illinois' first law legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Gov. Pat Quinn signed it in August.
But it requires a sick person to get a letter from a doctor. Veterans home doctors are federal employees - barred from approving cannabis use.
Lang's legislation would allow veterans to get a letter from the Illinois Department of Public Health certifying he or she has a condition that qualifies for marijuana treatment under the law.
The committee voted 10-6 to move the bill to the House floor.
Several St. Peters residents are calling for their alderman to resign after he was charged with marijuana possession. Alderman Tommy Roberts was charged after St. Peters police found marijuana in his home August 7th.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about a half-dozen residents called for Roberts resignation at Thursday night's meeting of the Board of Aldermen. None of the aldermen responded to the comments last night.
Roberts, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, said shortly after his arrest that the marijuana possession was "a medical issue."
CHICAGO (AP) - A seriously ill woman who'd lobbied to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois won't be eligible to get it herself because of a drug charge.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Michelle DiGiacomo won't be able to get the medicinal marijuana under the new bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law last month. She suffers from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal stenosis, among other things, and had been using marijuana for pain relief.
DiGiacomo got a license to buy medical marijuana in California, where it's legal. But it was still illegal in Illinois.
The 53-year-old Chicago woman was arrested in 2012 for having marijuana in her possession. She pleaded guilty to felony possession, months before Quinn signed the bill into law.
The drug charge disqualifies her from getting medical marijuana in Illinois.
Medical Marijuana is officially legal in Illinois. With his signature, Governor Pat Quinn kicked off a pilot program that allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with some chronic diseases.
It is one of the most restrictive programs in nation--requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks and limiting patients to purchasing 2 and-a-half ounces of marijuana at a time. A network of dispensaries and growers will be regulated by the state.
The medical marijuana will be taxed at the same 1% rate as other pharmaceuticals. There will also be a tax on grow facilities and dispensaries of 7%. The planned 22 grow facilities will each hire no more than 10 employees. The state of Illinois expects hundreds of new jobs in related industries to be created.
The new law also bans campaign contributions from operators of cultivation centers and dispensaries.
The law takes effect on January 1, 2014 and is a four-year pilot program.
CHICAGO (AP) - If Illinois becomes the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana, experts say there may be scores of legal questions for businesses.
Crain's Chicago Business reports the bill that was approved by lawmakers in Springfield is prompting questions from observers.
The measure, which is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature, is being billed as the strictest in the nation. It's not clear if Quinn will sign it.
The measure's sponsor says there'd be minimal impact on employers with a zero-tolerance drug policy.
But critics say there could be legal issues related to hiring and firing workers who test positive for the drug or show up to work while they're impaired.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Medical marijuana use in Illinois is now in Gov. Pat Quinn's hands after the state Senate approved legislation.
Lawmakers voted 35-21 Friday to send the measure to Quinn for final approval. Quinn hasn't signaled whether he will sign it into law.
The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions. Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the 33 illnesses listed in the bill.
The measure gives a framework for a four-year pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks.
Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the detrimental side effects of other prescription drugs. Opponents say the program could encourage the recreational use of marijuana especially among teenagers.
The full Illinois Senate will consider a bill that would legalize medical marijuana. The Senate Executive Committee voted Wednesday to approve the proposal.
The measure allows physicians to prescribe limited amounts of marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions. Under the bill, patients who use the drug would automatically consent to sobriety fields test should a police officer suspect they were driving under the influence of the drug.
Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without causing the harmful side effects of some prescription drugs.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - lllinois law enforcement organizations say motorist safeguards in pending medical marijuana legislation are not strict enough as the measure heads for a Senate vote.
John Kennedy of Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police says police should be able to test blood and urine of motorists suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana.
The chiefs and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association say the legislation incorrectly states that federal officials have OK'd standard sobriety tests for cannabis influence. They say blood and urine tests are the only accurate measure.
The groups hand-delivered a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn Tuesday. The Associated Press was given a copy Wednesday in advance of its public release.
A Senate committee is scheduled to hear the issue later Wednesday.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Rep. Lou Lang says he is thankful on behalf of patients in the state for the Illinois House approval of a measure authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Lawmakers voted 61-57 Wednesday to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions.
The Skokie Democrat is the sponsor of the legislation. He says the bill's regulations make it the strictest in the nation. He says those regulations were key to putting the bill "across the goal line."
The legislation sets a 2.5 ounce limit per patient per purchase. The measure calls for 60 state-regulated dispensaries where patients could buy the drug.
Lang says he looks forward to a "strong" vote in the Senate.
CHICAGO (AP) - Nearly 250 physicians are calling on Illinois lawmakers to legalize the use of marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.
Three physicians spoke during a news conference Tuesday. They say marijuana can be a safer and more effective treatment than narcotics for patients with diseases such as cancer and HIV.
The Illinois House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would create a medical marijuana pilot program. It would allow physicians who have an existing relationship with a patient to prescribe marijuana for certain conditions. Patients would be limited to buying 2.5 ounces at a time from dispensaries regulated by the state.
Julie Falco of Chicago uses marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms. Falco says she and other patients shouldn't be considered criminals for trying to ease their suffering.