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HB1: Illinois House Approves Use of Medical Marijuana

Lou Lang (D-Skokie) has been pushing for the use of medical marijuana for nearly a decade. Today, the bill - known as House Bill 1, was approved by the Illinois House 61-57.

The Illinois House approved Rep. Lou Lang’s (D-Skokie) measure to use marijuana for medical purposes on Wednesday. The bill passed 61-57, just two days before the April 19 deadline.

The measure now moves to the senate.

In 2009, the senate approved a similar version of the bill. Senate President John Cullerton said he supports the legislation, according to WSIL TV in Springfield.

If passed, the bill would enter a four-year pilot program. Anyone who has been diagnosed by a physician “as having debilitating medical condition” can have up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a 14-day period, according to House Bill 1, or HB1.

The green leafy substance will be taxed at a rate of 7 percent an ounce if passed. It should be noted, however, that the tax “shall be paid by a medical cannabis cultivation center and is not the responsibility of a dispensary organization or a registered qualifying patient,” according to the bill.

"Nobody should fear the bill," Lang told Skokie Patch. "This is about quality of life for people."

If passed by the senate the bill would then move to Gov. Pat Quinn.

Other states have recently passed similar bills. Now, Lang is hoping Illinois can become the next state to ride the green wave and help those who can seriously benefit from the drug. Recently, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia now allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington have taken it to another level, allowing citizens to smoke pot recreationally.

But for Lang the legalization of medical marijuana isn't about recreation use - it's about helping people who can benefit tremendously from the drug, he said.

"Illinois would be the nineteenth state to pass the bill (the District of Columbia also recently passed the bill)," Lang said. "And of all of those, Illinois will be the most tightly regulated." 

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ko April 18, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Quality of Life? You have got to be kidding me. Thanks, Lou. I assume you will personally see to the "tight regulation" This will be no different than California - dimestore docs popping up on every corner, writing fraudulent prescriptions to ANYONE who wants to smoke a little weed.
depotman April 18, 2013 at 05:39 AM
"This will be no different than California" Wrong on many levels. You're comparing the least strict medical marijuana program with the most strict. You still can't use it in public, have it while driving, and Illinois allows only 22 growing centers and 60 dispensaries. Patients also can't grow it and it's also noted on their driving record if they are a patient.
John Holt Yo April 18, 2013 at 05:40 AM
Wow. . .way to stay positive about this. I'm just happy that unlike when I went through my first bout with brain cancer, this time I won't have to be all hopped up on all kinds of man made pharmaceuticals. I also won't have to worry about my little brothers friends stealing any of my prescriptions. Last time they had me on all kinds of pain killers from Vicodin to Percocet. I freaked out when someone broke into my medicine cabinet and stole those, those drugs can kill you if abused. I don't have the same worry with marijuana. I've never been a big "pot head" but I can attest there are definitely medical benefits of "pot"
James Hammans April 18, 2013 at 02:21 PM
I actually wouldn't mind too much if it were like the California law, but it's definitely not. California prop 215 was a ploy, but HB1 is probably the first honest medical use law ever. Ploy or not, I think it's a step in the right direction. Cannabis prohibition is a waste of money, and it honestly makes zero sense. Whether used for pleasure, or to relieve pain, cannabis is safer than the alternatives. Safer than alcohol, safer than opiates and other prescription drugs. Criminalizing the people who use it under the banner of promoting the public health is simply unconscionable. Plus, locking people in cages has no deterrent effect whatsoever. Cannabis use remains at or around 10% despite the harsh penalties. All we're doing is ruining young people's lives by criminalizing what is, in fact, a health problem, and wasting a whole lot of money in the process.
tpn April 24, 2013 at 07:07 AM
I thinik Ko is dealing a little weed, afraid of the state making a profit and u loosing your bussiness on something that anyone can get anyways

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