Cannabis Action News: Illinois Poised To Become The 19th Medical Cannabis State ~ With Your Help!

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On Tuesday Nov. 27, Illinois NORML, medical cannabis patients and advocates will lobby elected officials at the Illinois State Capitol in an attempt to become the 19th state to legalize the plant for medicinal purposes. The proposed law would create a pilot program for three years, allow doctors to recommend cannabis for very specific conditions and create 59 nonprofit establishments for patients to acquire their medicine.

Rotunda, Illinois State Capitol (photo by Susan Smith)

"If people cannot make it to Springfield but want to help, they should call their State Representative and Senator on Tuesday."

On Tuesday Nov. 27 medical cannabis patients and advocates will lobby elected officials at the Illinois State Capitol in an attempt to become the 19th state to legalize the plant for medicinal purposes. Lawmakers in Illinois have previously debated this issue and after the recent votes in Colorado and Washington to legalize cannabis (herbal cannabinoids), there is hope that Illinois can join the list of those allowing doctors to recommend its use by patients.

“This legislation has been drafted and revised with every intention of protecting patients from arrest and giving law enforcement the tools needed to ensure it won't be abused,” noted Dan Linn, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of NORML. “Over the years we’ve amended these bills and changed them trying to appease lawmakers but have never been able to get enough votes to change the actual law. It has taken us so long to get this through that our original sponsor years ago, a former sheriff, State Rep. Larry McKeon, has since passed away due to complications of cancer and AIDS. He was the first openly gay member of the legislature, and he helped get this bill off the ground,” Linn added.

Lawmakers will be considering House Bill 30, The Illinois Compassionate Use Act. The bill would create a pilot program for three years, allow doctors to recommend cannabis for very specific conditions and create 59 nonprofit establishments for patients to acquire their medicine. Unlike other states that have legalized cannabis for patients and their caregivers, this bill would not allow them to grow their medicine.

On Tuesday patients will be educating lawmakers on the benefits of herbal cannabinoid therapeutics and meeting with lawmakers before they go into their fall veto session. Illinois NORML will have information at the Capitol and supporters will be lobbying officials throughout the day.

Ali Nagib, Illinois NORML’s Assistant Director, noted the importance of being active: "If people cannot make it to Springfield but want to help, they should call their State Representative and Senator on Tuesday. It is also helpful to let the governor know how important this is.”

The Capitol Switchboard phone number is 217-782-2000 and an operator can connect supporters to elected officials.

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Dan Linn

Ali Nagib

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