Illinois: Senate Committee To Hold Hearing Wednesday On Medical Marijuana Bill

Photo - Illinois: Medical Marijuana Moves Forward In LegislatureReligious leader, former narcotics officer, and physician scheduled to testify in support of House-approved measure that would allow people with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 3 p.m. on a bill that would allow residents with serious illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to access and use medical marijuana if their physicians recommend it. If approved, the measure will be considered by the full Senate. It received approval from the full House of Representatives on April 17.

Rev. Alexander Sharp, executive director emeritus of Protestants for the Common Good; former narcotics police officer Karen Stone of Glenarm; Dr. David Walters of Mt. Vernon; and a Somonauk-based military veteran with advanced multiple sclerosis are scheduled to testify in support of House Bill 1, which is sponsored in the Senate by former state’s attorney Sen. William Haine (D-Alton).

The measure has been endorsed by the Illinois Nurses Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, and since last month, more than 265 doctors from across the state have signed on to a statement in support of safe access to medical marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.

“Marijuana has widely recognized medical benefits, and it poses fewer and less severe side effects than many narcotics currently being prescribed,” said Dan Riffle, deputy director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “If a doctor believes his or her patient would benefit from using medical marijuana, that patient should be able to obtain and use it safely and legally.”

WHAT: Senate Executive Committee hearing on House Bill 1, which would allow residents with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their physicians recommend it

WHEN: Wednesday, May 8, 3 p.m. CT

WHERE: Illinois State Capitol, Room 212

WHO: Jim Champion, Somonauk-based veteran with advanced multiple sclerosis
Rev. Alexander Sharp, Protestants for the Common Good executive director emeritus
Karen Stone, Glenarm-based former narcotics police officer
Dr. David Walters, M.D., Mt. Vernon-based physician