1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. godztear
    Illinois physicians could prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions under legislation approved Wednesday by the state House.

    The proposed legislation creates a four-year pilot program that requires patients and caregivers to undergo background checks, limits the amount of marijuana patients can have at a time, and establishes cultivation centers and selling points.

    Lawmakers voted 61-57 to send the measure to the state Senate, where a version of the bill was approved in 2009. Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman said this week that he supports the legislation. Gov. Pat Quinn hasn't said whether he would sign the measure should it reach his desk.

    Supporters said marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the harmful effects of other prescription drugs. They touted the legislation as a compassionate measure that would save patients from the agony caused by illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV.

    "I know every single one of you have compassion in your heart, this is the day to show it," said Rep. Lou Lang, the sponsor of the bill. "... Let people feel better, let them have a better quality of life."

    The bill lists more than 30 medical conditions for which patients can be prescribed marijuana. The legislative proposal prohibits patients from growing their own marijuana. Instead, the state must approve 22 cultivation centers, as well as 60 dispensaries where patients could buy the drug after getting a prescription from a doctor with whom they have an existing relationship. The legislation sets a 2.5 ounce limit per patient per purchase.

    Patients who choose to take marijuana automatically consent to submit themselves to a sobriety field test should a police officer suspect they were driving under the influence of the drug.

    Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, said the bill is the strictest in the nation. Still, opponents say the program would encourage the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

    "It's going to cause confusion in our communities," said Republican Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro. "... I will guarantee you that we will be back adjusting this legislation ... because of the problems that can occur or we will be back in this floor for the legalization of marijuana."

    Lang and other supporters have been trying to legalize medical marijuana for several years. A measure that had cleared the Senate failed in the House in 2011, when six Republicans and 50 Democrats voted yes.

    Quinn on Wednesday said the bill's sponsor hasn't reached out to him to build support on the measure. The Democratic governor said he was recently visited by a veteran suffering from war founds who was helped by the medical use of marijuana. Quinn said he was "impressed by his heartfelt feeling" on the issue. "I'm certainly open-minded to it," he said.

    Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A report issued earlier this month by the Pew Research Center poll showed that 77 percent of Americans say marijuana has legitimate medical uses.

    April 17, 2013
    by REGINA GARCIA CANO Associated Press


  1. godztear
    Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said she is in favor of a bill allowing the medical use of marijuana, explaining Sunday that testimony from seriously ill veterans and other patients helped change her mind.

    "As a former prosecutor my first reaction was, 'I'm not interested in changing our laws on medical marijuana,'" she told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday. But she said that after hearing from patients and reading up on the bill, she's convinced the regulations are strict enough. Backers of the measure, which has cleared the Illinois House and awaits a Senate vote, have said the same thing.

    The plan, touted as the strictest in the nation among states that have legalized medical marijuana, would authorize physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with whom they have an existing relationship and who are living with at least one of more than 30 medical conditions, including cancer. The proposal creates a framework for a pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to undergo background checks. It also sets a 2.5-ounce limit per patient per purchase and sets out state-regulated dispensaries.

    Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without the detrimental side effects of prescription drugs. But opponents say the program could encourage recreational use, especially among teenagers.

    The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association are opposed to the measure, saying there's no sure way to figure out whether a motorist is driving under the influence of marijuana. But Simon told the AP the bill is strict enough to prevent misuse. "It does a good job of both getting medical marijuana to people who need and keeping it away from those who don't," she said.

    Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has been noncommittal whether he would sign the bill, saying instead that he is open-minded to the idea.

    Simon is weighing a run for another statewide office instead of seeking another term as lieutenant governor. The Carbondale Democrat declined Sunday to say which office she will run for, saying she will wait to see how other shape up. Simon is likely choosing between Illinois' attorney general, comptroller or treasurer. In recent months, Simon has played up her law-related background and accomplishments including as a pro bono lawyer and prosecutor. Her decision comes as the 2014 governor's race is heating up and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is weighing a possible challenge to Quinn.

    May 13, 2012 | The Associated Press
  2. SmokeTwibz
    Illinois Medical Marijuana: Great First Step, Room for Improvements

    SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois Senate voted 35-21 Friday to pass the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act,” which creates a framework to protect physicians and certain qualified medical marijuana patients from arrest and prosecution — but only for the next four years.

    Friday’s vote comes a month after the Illinois House voted 61-57 in favor of House Bill 1, which now goes to Governor Quinn. If the bill is signed into law, Illinois would become the country’s 19th — and most restrictive — medical marijuana state.

    Advocates have raised a number of concerns over the bill, and plan to pursue follow-up legislation to improve its effectiveness in meeting patients’ needs.

    “This is a great day for patients in Illinois,” Mike Liszewski, Policy Director with Americans for Safe Access, said Friday. “We hope that Governor Quinn will see the importance of signing this bill into law, which we look forward to implementing and also improving with follow-up legislation.”

    House Bill 1, which is scheduled to expire in four years, was called one of the most restrictive laws in the country by one of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton).

    House Bill 1 would allow patients with one of 33 “debilitating medical conditions,” such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV to obtain approval from a physician to use medical marijuana. The law would entitle qualifying patients to possess 2.5 ounces for a 2-week period.

    Patients would not be able to cultivate the marijuana themselves, contrary to most state laws, but they could obtain it from one of the state’s 60 “registered dispensing organizations,” which would be supplied by 22 “licensed cultivation centers.”

    The bill would also tax the sale of medical marijuana at 7 percent.

    Patient advocates consider House Bill 1 a great first step, but also admit there are a number of concerns they wish to address with follow-up legislation.

    Chief among the concerns is that the bill would continue to criminalize patients growing their own medicine, a right afforded to most patients covered by state medical marijuana laws in the U.S. It’s expected that the cost of obtaining marijuana from a “dispensing organization” will be prohibitively expensive for thousands of patients.

    The bill also imposes a 7 percent tax on the sale of medical marijuana, fails to establish an affirmative defense for patients if they’re arrested, mandates fingerprinting and criminal background checks for patients, and gives police unfettered access to their records.

    Advocates did, however, manage to win an amendment that exempted qualified patients from the state’s zero-tolerance DUID law.

    Passage of HB1 by the Senate comes a month after nearly 250 Illinois physicians pledged their support for legalizing medical marijuana in the state.

    A Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll released in February, showed that more than 63 percent of Illinois voters support the legalization of medical marijuana.

    Picture Source: weedist.com
    The Daily Chronic

    By Americans for Safe Access | May 18, 2013
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!