Friday, March 07, 2008

Illinois Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Sent to Senate

Here's for hoping clearer heads prevail in a renewed push for legalizing medicinal marijuana

From "Senate Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sent to Senate" by Kartikay Mehrotra, posted 3/6/08 at

The hazy path to legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois cleared a little Wednesday when a committee on public health sent the legislation to the Senate floor on a 6-4 vote.

The measure, sponsored by state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, would allow marijuana card holders to receive prescriptions for medical marijuana and the plant it grows on, thus avoiding any illegal means of obtaining the drug.

“Our first obligation should be ensuring that our laws don’t prevent suffering patients from obtaining needed medicine — or make them criminals if they do,” Cullerton said. “This is about the patients, it’s not about somebody abusing this law to illegally obtain marijuana.”

To make his case, Cullerton presented the committee with two women fighting diseases and disabilities with marijuana to relieve their pain and depression.

“I took and tried every pharmaceutical drug my doctors prescribed to me to help with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis,” said Julie Falco, also a member of the Illinois Drug Education and Legislative Reform board. “Every time I used them, I felt worse. It left me flattened, hopeless, very depressed … and contemplating suicide.”

Although she drew sympathy from some, Limey Nargelenas, director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, says there are better ways to go about legalizing the drug than “hiding behind sick people.”

“I think it’s a shame what they’re doing here,” Nargelenas said. “They’re using sick people here to try to legalize marijuana. I think if the Legislature wants to legalize marijuana, let’s talk about it, debate it and see if that’s what the people want.”

Thank goodness law enforcement knows that this is a bad idea. Be it alcohol, drugs, or homosexual behavior, the more our society says it's okay for some, the more our impressionable youth see them as normal and worthy of experimentation.

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