Illinois: Nearly 250 Physicians Across State Endorse Medical Marijuana
By Steve Elliott
A group of doctors on Tuesday at a news conference announced the support of nearly 250 Illinois physicians for allowing patients with serious illnesses to get and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
"For many patients, the treatment can sometimes be worse than the disease," said Dr. Margaret Millar of Moline, one of the endorsing physicians. "Having seen the devastating, and all-too-often lethal tollthat legally prescribed narcotics can take, I support medical marijuana as a safer, milder treatment that carries no risk of fatal overdose."
The doctors specifically signed on the following statement:
"Licensed medical practitioners should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if their medical professionals have told them that such use is likely to be beneficial."
The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on House Bill 1, which would make Illinois the 19th state the allow patients with certain conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians.
It would also establish a network of state-regulated cultivation centers and dispensaries to provide marijuana to qualified patients.
It should be up to physicians, not police and prosecutors, to decide whether medical marijuana is the right treatment for their patients," said Dan Riffle, deputy director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
"Seriously ill people who benefit from medical marijuana should be able to obtain it legally and safely," Riffle said. "Our laws should promote the doctor-patient relationship, not the dealer-patient relationship."