By Kevin McDermott, Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau
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