Illinois: House to again debate medical marijuana

By L.E. Hlavach

There is a truth that must be heard! SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House sponsor of prior efforts to legalize medicinal use of marijuana has already renewed efforts in the new General Assembly.

A medical marijuana bill was the first House legislation introduced Wednesday in the new legislative session. It is sponsored by state Rep. Louis Lang, D-Skokie.

“We have a new General Assembly, new people, new thoughts, new views of these issues,” Lang said Thursday. “We have national polls showing that the vast majority of Americans think people ought to have a product that their doctor thinks they ought to have.”

Lang said medical marijuana “is less controversial now that 19 other states have approved it and two other states have said that marijuana is legal for all purposes.”

“The idea that we would approve marijuana to help very sick people feel better should not be as controversial as it is,” he said.

Under the proposed law, certain patients could obtain medical-grade marijuana from state-regulated dealers for use in their homes.

Lang has been trying for four years to get approval for a medical marijuana law in Illinois.

In the past, Republicans led the charge to kill the legislation.

Lang said the House nearly approved the proposal last session, and he seemed optimistic about the chance of passage this time.

Illinois: Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers

Over the past several years, sixteen states have passed pro-hemp farming legislation, so why are Illinois lawmakers working against the farmer?

By Michael, Hemp News Correspondent

Illinois Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers Last month, because of years of festering propagandist lies, the Illinois House of Representatives voted against mid-west farmers and their right to grow a viable rotation crop (HB1383 - Illinois Industrial Hemp Act). The bill, which passed a House Agriculture and Conservation Committee by a vote of 11-2 earlier in the same week, would have licensed: individuals desiring to grow, process, cultivate, harvest, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products. In many cases, an alternative rotation crop, such as hemp, could possibly save the multi-generational farms from foreclosure.

"The fiber from industrial hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers known, and it is present in bundles that surround the main stem. Industrial hemp fiber applications include uses in textiles, cordage, construction materials, paper products, and bio-composite plastics," according to Donald P. Briskin, Professor of Plant Biochemistry/Physiology, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Bill Defeated by 4 Votes in House

By MyFox Chicago Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Chicago - Lawmakers in Springfield turned down a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana Thursday.

Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. currently allow marijuana to be allowed for medical use, but in Illinois, that won't be happening anytime soon.

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang from Skokie. It was narrowly defeated by four votes in the House Thursday.

Supporters of the bill say it would have provided much relief for people suffering from AIDS or other chronic diseases to help them with pain relief and help them regain an appetite, which would also make them feel better.


Illinois: Medical Marijuana Measure Fails in House

By Ray Long and Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Measure Fails in House SPRINGFIELD --- The Illinois House today defeated a measure that would have allowed people to use marijuana for relief of chronic pain.

The medical marijuana bill got 53 votes, but needed 60 to pass. Another 59 lawmakers voted against it, and one voted present.

Sponsoring Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, argued the measure was aimed at giving people in pain a better quality of life, particularly after doctors have tried multiple medications that have not helped a person suffering from a debilitating illnesses.

“There are people who need our help,” Lang said, pointing to the House gallery, where people with chronic illnesses watched in hopes of passage.

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Troy, a pharmacist, argued the legislation does not provide enough regulation.

“This should be called the marijuana possession law,” Stephens said. “It doesn’t restrict the use in any one way.”

Illinois: High Time for Medical Marijuana

Votes could come soon


There is a truth that must be heard! Illinois could become the 15th state to allow medical marijuana if everything goes State Representative Lou Lang’s way.

Lang (D-Skokie) is the chief sponsor of a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to chronically ill patients in lieu of narcotics like Oxycontin and Vicodin. Patients who receive the prescription and garner state licensing could own up to three plants under the proposed legislation, according to WBBM.

"It requires them to get a license from the Illinois Dept. of Public health, which would monitor and license each person, and it provides strict penalties for those who break the law, or use the marijuana and drive, or try to sell it or distribute it," Lang said.

Lang told WBBM that more than 90 members of the Illinois House support the bill privately, but nearly 40 of them don’t want to vote for it because of the political fallout.

Representative Lang says he is waiting for the right time to call the bill to the floor for a vote. He said Speaker Michael Madigan promised to call for a vote if Lang can gather the votes.

If it passes the house – it already passed the senate about 10 months ago – indications are that Governor Pat Quinn would sign the measure.

Dr. Quentin Young the Illinois Public Health Advocate and Quinn's personal physician supports the measure.

"The medical profession has no controversy on this, to speak of," Dr. Young said.

Illinois: Candidates for Governor on Medical Marijuana

Illinois: Candidates for Governor on Medical Marijuana
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Candidates for governor in Illinois discuss legalizing marijuana for medical use in an Associated Press questionnaire.

The state Senate has voted to legalize medical marijuana. The House has not taken action on the proposal. What are your views on the issue?



-- Dan Hynes: "I do not support the outright legalization of marijuana."

-- Pat Quinn: "People who are seriously ill deserve access to all medical treatments that will help them."



-- Rich Whitney: "I support legalization of marijuana, period."



-- Adam Andrzejewski: "I could support this bill as long as (it's) for qualified medical uses only."

-- Bill Brady: "Legalizing medical marijuana appears to me to be nothing more than moving us down the slope of legalizing marijuana."

-- Kirk Dillard: "I do not support legalizing medical marijuana due to the concerns of the law enforcement community that it will be difficult to enforce."

-- Andy McKenna: "I would have opposed the legislation presented to the Senate."

-- Dan Proft: "In narrowly-defined instances where a doctor believes this treatment would alleviate the suffering of an individual ... I would be inclined to allow a licensed doctor to prescribe such treatment."

-- Jim Ryan: "I would be open to a narrowly drawn bill that legalizes medical marijuana. It can provide needed relief for patients with various afflictions."

United States: Why Should Farmers Grow Hemp?

Because hemp is the ultimate cash crop, producing more fiber, food and oil than any other plant on the planet.

By Paul Stanford, THCF/CRRH

United States: Why Should Farmers Grow Hemp? According to the Notre Dame University publication, The Midland Naturalist, from a 1975 article called, "Feral Hemp in Southern Illinois," about the wild hemp fields that annual efforts from law enforcement eradication teams cannot wipe out, an acre of hemp produces:

1. 8,000 pounds of hemp seed per acre.

* When cold-pressed, the 8,000 pounds of hemp seed yield over 300 gallons of hemp seed oil and a byproduct of
* 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp flour.

Illinois: Decriminalization in Cook County Make Sense

By Commentary, Sun Times

There is a truth that must be heard! The last three presidents of the United States all smoked a little weed.

Obama, Clinton and Bush were young and curious and, fortunately, never got busted. A criminal record tends to put a damper on White House dreams.

And yet thousands of Americans are busted for pot each year, even now in 2009, ironically arrested by cops who (let's call this a safe guess) may have smoked a joint or two themselves in their time.

We are such a nation of hypocrites.

But let us not give up hope. We are also creeping, if ever so slowly, toward a more honest and workable approach toward regulating pot.

Case in point:

The Cook County Board on Tuesday, to its credit, voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana -- 10 grams or less -- in unincorporated areas of Cook County. The Cook County sheriff's police, when patrolling those areas, would give first-time offenders a $200 ticket rather than charge them with a misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail.

The County Board's measure, which must be signed by board President Todd Stroger, came out of the blue on Tuesday, and some wary officials -- most notably Sheriff Tom Dart -- said the measure should be suspended until public hearings are held.

But we see no overriding reason to wait. We urge President Stroger to approve the measure now.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Measure Wins Illinois Senate Approval

By Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune

There is a truth that must be heard! SPRINGFIELD--The Illinois Senate today voted to approve legislation that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons for some seriously ill patients with a physician’s permission.

The 30-28 vote, with one senator voting present, means the measure now goes to the House for consideration in the waning days of the spring session.

“It is not intended to be a stealth legalization,” said sponsoring Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), a former Madison County prosecutor. “It is a program that’s enacted for the compassionate use by people who have been recommended by a doctor.”

Haine said similar legislation has been approved in all 13 states where it was on the ballot, regardless of partisan leanings. In an effort to encourage votes, the legislation would create a program that would last for three years and require renewal.

But Sen. Dale Righter (R-Charleston) said the legislation was loosely drafted and did not require criminal background checks for people who handle marijuana or grow it under license from the state Department of Public Health.

The Senate defeated similar legislation two years ago.


Illinois: Medical Marijuana Vote Delayed Again By Illinois Senate

By Tim Taliaferro, Huffington Post

There is a truth that must be heard! Supporters of a much-delayed Illinois Senate bill to legalize medical marijuana will have to wait at least another day, as the vote scheduled for Tuesday has again been postponed.

As the Illinois legislative session enters its final days, big-ticket topics such as the budget and ethics reform loom large, and time for taking up a controversial bill like SB 1381, The Compassionate Use of Cannabis Pilot Project Act, gets harder to find. Even if the bill passes the Senate, its chances of passing the House are slim -- and even slimmer for passing during this legislative session, the bill's sponsor, Sen. William R. Haine (D-Alton), told the Huffington Post.

Haine said he expects the tally to be close and needs to have all of his 'yes' votes present before he'll call a vote. A Haine aide said that several of the likely 'yes' votes were absent from the chamber Tuesday.

Haine looked for an opportunity all last week and at one point entered the Senate chamber determined to call a vote but never got the chance.

Though Senate President John Cullerton supports the legislation, he is focused on ethics reform and the state budget and not actively drumming up support for the bill, his spokeswoman told the Huffington Post.


Illinois: Religious Leaders Back Medical Marijuana | Trying to Get State Senate to OK Measure

By Mike Thomas, Chicago Sun Times

There is a truth that must be heard! The Illinois Senate could vote as early as next week on a bill that would allow patients who are seriously ill to use medical marijuana for treatment with a doctor's approval.

In a further attempt to get the bill passed, the Washington, D.C.-based group Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative claims to have obtained the support of more than 60 religious leaders statewide. In a list provided to the Sun-Times, the faiths range from Jewish and Methodist to Baptist and Roman Catholic. Several lead Chicago parishes.

IDPI executive director Charles Thomas says his organization hopes the additional backing from these men and women of God "will reassure the legislators. And for those who are on the fence or maybe somewhat opposed, you might finally get them to stop and think about it -- to open up their minds to it a little bit and not just kind of flinch away. 'Marijuana: bad.' "

A companion bill was passed by the Illinois House Health and Human Services Committee early last month. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 13 states.

Editorial: Patients deserve right to medical marijuana -,CST-EDT-edit28a.article

Photo Source: (Matt Marton/Sun-Times News Group)

Related: Ill. clergy push for medical marijuana OK

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Debate Takes to the Airwaves

By Kevin McDermott, Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau

There is a truth that must be heard! SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois will unveil a television advertising campaign this week, the latest shot in an increasingly hot political battle over the issue.

The ad campaign - to be formally announced in a Statehouse news conference Tuesday - is being touted by the national Marijuana Policy Project, which views Illinois as a key testing ground in the national debate over medical pot. The ad campaign comes in advance of a state Senate vote on the legalization proposal (SB1381) which could come by the end of this month.

Proposals to legalize pot for medical purposes gets slapped down almost every year in Springfield. But there’s been a sense among proponents that this year might be different, with healthcare trumping the drug war as a top issue in the public eye lately. The Senate bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton - a former Madison County state’s attorney - isn’t exactly considered a raving liberal, and newly seated Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has long backed the idea.

On the other hand, law enforcement opposition to the idea seems to be stronger than ever, which carries some sway in Springfield, so it’s by no means a done deal. Stay tuned


Illinois: House Committee OKs Use of Medical Marijuana

By C. Willis, Associated Press Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - People suffering from cancer, AIDS and other diseases could turn to marijuana for pain relief under a plan approved Wednesday by an Illinois House committee despite claims that it would be a step toward legalizing pot.

Under the legislation, people with a doctor's permission would be eligible for a state registry card allowing up to seven marijuana plants in their homes and 2 ounces of "usable cannabis." The measure is written to expire after three years.

Advocates say marijuana eases pain without the side effects of heavier drugs and reduces nausea from chemotherapy.

"There is needless suffering going on out there," said the sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie. "Everything else is a sideshow."

But Rep. Patricia Bellock, R-Hinsdale, said the bill raises serious questions. Will it be misused by people who don't really have a medical need for marijuana? Would it open the door to outright legalization of pot use in Illinois?

"It is the No. 1 drug that introduces young people to other drugs," said Bellock, who voted against the measure in the Human Services Committee.

Still, it passed 4-3 and now goes to the House floor.

Thirteen states already have medical marijuana laws that preclude a criminal conviction for use, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Illinois: Toying with History - Items From Past Set for Display

By Denise Moran, The Courier-News

GENOA -- Longtime resident Roger Watson is adding local interest to the Genoa City Hall front lobby with a display of his wooden trucks and tractors.

"Mayor Todd Walker wanted to put something in the lobby," Watson said. "Some of the trucks and tractors are homemade, while others were made during World War II. Some of them are very rare."

Watson is a farm toy collector. He buys, sells, trades, customizes and repairs farm toys, and builds wooden models. He has a collection of around 300 1/16-scale farm tractors. He was one of the founders, with Merle Roberts and Warren Brown, of Genoa's annual Pioneer Day at the Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society museum along Park Avenue.

"I like John Deere and Minneapolis-Moline tractors the best," Watson said. His display will be at city hall this week. "It's a good hobby."

Some of Roger's model farm equipment was displayed in shop windows during Genoa's Harvest Moon Festival.

Watson, who moved to Genoa in 1964, grew up on a farm as one of the oldest children in a family of five boys and two girls.

"My mom asked me to fix some of our toys," Watson said. "I've always repaired things, even as a kid."

The skills he learned while growing up on a farm have provided him with both hobbies and an interest in pioneer life.

"My grandfather was a wheelwright," Watson said. "He got me interested in wood carving. I've been making wooden spoons since I was 9 years old."

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