The use of marijuana as a medical treatment could soon become legal in Illinois.

The use of marijuana as a medical treatment could soon become legal in Illinois. On March 4, the Human Services committee for the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 2514 (House Medical Marijuana Bill) by a four-to-three vote, which would allow seriously ill patients with a prescription from a doctor to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie. Illinois State Police officers said if the bill becomes law, it would impact their jobs tremendously. “We’re talking about making more judgment calls when confiscating marijuana on drivers,” said state trooper, Marshall Bills. “I know medical research is accomplishing new things all the time, but the use of marijuana for medical reasons is definitely a new high in medicine.” Bills hopes tight restrictions are put on marijuana use should it be legalized. “I am sure if the bill does pass, those with legal prescriptions would need to carry their prescription with them when in possession of their marijuana medicine,” he said. “Otherwise anyone could say the marijuana they are carrying is for a medical condition.” Alisa Mosley, a spokesman for the National Medical Association, said the association is waiting for more research on marijuana use for medical purposes before it takes a position on legalizing it. But one doctor, who testified before the committee, said using marijuana for certain health problems would be a breakthrough in modern medicine. “Doctors need every safe, effective medicine available to them when treating patients with serious conditions, such as cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis,” said Dr. Jay Riseman, a physician who lives in Springfield. ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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