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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois House committee has approved a measure that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The House Human Services Committee voted 11-4 Wednesday to move the proposal to the full House for consideration.

The measure would allow patients over the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions to obtain marijuana.

Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the illnesses.

Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the harmful effects that other prescription drugs may commonly cause.

The measure gives a framework for a four-year pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to submit background checks.

But opponents say the program would encourage the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:28
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Police tactics are being questioned by the family of an 8-year-old Alton girl, who was handcuffed by police and thrown in the back of a squad car. Jmyha Rickman was held for two hours after she threw a temper-tantrum at Love Joy Elementary School late yesterday morning. School officials called police to help handle the situation. Alton schools assistant superintendent Kristie Baumgartner says that when a situation with a student becomes unmanageable, first the parents are called, then the school contacts law enforcement. When police arrived, they say the girl was tearing apart two classrooms and they believe they took appropriate action.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 11:32
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge has ordered a small library in southern Missouri to stop blocking access to websites related to Wicca and other minority religions, calling it a violation of patrons' First Amendment rights.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber issued the ruling Tuesday in St. Louis in a case involving the Salem Public Library.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued last year on behalf of Salem resident Anaka Hunter. Salem is a largely Christian community of 5,000 residents in the Missouri Ozarks.

The suit said Hunter was trying to do research at the library but filtering software blocked access to sites about things such as Wicca, a pagan religion that worships nature and involves witchcraft.

The library director declined comment Wednesday.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 10:38
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(ABC NEWS) Valerie Harper, the actress best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on " The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and her own spinoff, "Rhoda," has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Harper, 73, received the diagnosis on Jan. 15, just days before she appeared on " Good Morning America" and described the stroke-like symptoms that sent her to the hospital.

"It was if I had Novocain," Harper said in the live interview Jan. 21. "I thought what the heck is happening to me?""I went to the hospital and they couldn't find much of anything. Now I'm still awaiting test results," she said at the time, also adding, "I'm feeling great."

Harper tells People magazine in its latest issue, on newsstands Friday, that the tests from that January hospital stay revealed she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

According to People, Harper's doctors have told her she may have just three months to live. "I don't think of dying," the Emmy-winning actress tells the magazine. "I think of being here now."

Harper appeared on "GMA" in January to promote her new memoir, "I, Rhoda." In the book she revealed for the first time that she battled lung cancer in 2009 while starring in the Broadway show "Looped." "I thought this is just not going to be good for comedy if the audience is out there worrying about their Rhoda," Harper said of her decision to keep her disease, which she fought with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, private.

Now Harper, who is married with one daughter, has decided to take her current health struggle public."There are moments when she feels extremely sad. She's also extremely funny," J.D. Heyman, executive editor of People, told "GMA." "She's very, very happy that she's had the life that she had."
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