Illinois Lawmaker Pushes Medical Marijuana
Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 8:55 pm by Life Matters Media
Illinois lawmaker pushes for medical marijuana bill
An Illinois sponsor of a medical marijuana measure says he may have enough votes to pass the bill in the Statehouse, the Chicago Tribune reports. Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says his “nose count” has him near the 60 votes needed for approval of a three-year trial medical marijuana program called the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which would be a first for Ill.
“If members vote their consciences, I’ll have the votes,” said Lang, who fell short a handful of votes last year, although the Senate approved similar previous legislation in 2010.
This season may be different, however, because three dozen lawmakers in the House and Senate are not coming back in the next General Assembly, making them lame ducks, Ray Long reports. “Their votes are more likely to be up for grabs given that they are not expected to face the voters again.”
CBS News reports that advocates of medical marijuana are in Springfield to lobby state lawmakers to approve the use of medical marijuana with strict limitations. The drug would only be prescribed by doctors, in small amounts, to qualifying terminally ill patients or their designated caregivers. Individuals suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis or a “debilitating medical condition” may qualify.
A qualifying patient or caregiver would only be able to legally possess 6 cannabis plants and 2 ounces of dried usable cannabis during a two-week period.
State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Countryside, opposes the measure because he fears it will make the drug more available. “Just in the last two weeks in DeKalb, there was a 10-pound traffic stop of medical marijuana that came from Oregon,” Durkin said.
The AP reports that Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, acknowledges that Lang may have enough votes to pass the measure, but the former FBI agent still plans to fight it. “I just see it as a tremendous mistake,” said Sacia.
Lang may bring the measure to vote this week at the General Assembly. He told the AP that there are “a whole bunch of people who are wavering.” He will work over the weekend before putting the measure to vote, although he may be close to the 60 votes needed.
Medical marijuana supporters have already won local approval for medical use in 18 states and D.C. Voters in Colorado and Washington chose to legalize marijuana, although, the federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has no medically accepted use and high potential for abuse.
Massachusetts Question 3: Medical Marijuana
Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 at 2:30 pm by Life Matters Media
This Election Day, Massachusetts voters will decide on whether to allow suffering and chronically ill patients the freedom to use medical marijuana. If controversial Question 3 passes, it would allow physicians to prescribe 60-day supplies of the drug to qualifying patients that could benefit.
“This proposed law would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients,” according to the Secretary of State of Massachusetts. “To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis. ” A patient must then receive written certification by a physician who deems the drug beneficial.
Qualifying patients would be allowed a 60-day supply of marijuana for their personal medical benefit. Each patient could designate a caregiver to assist with the prescription, and both patient and caregiver would register with the Department of Public Health.
Upon approval, not-for-profit medical marijuana centers would be allowed to sell the drug to patients. It would be legal for patients to grow their own 60-day supplies.
A statement approved by Associate Justice Robert Cordy in the Concord Journal states: “Under the medical marijuana law, patients would be able to get marijuana ‘produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, to grow marijuana for their own use.’ ”
The Boston Globe reports the law “would allow up to 35 state-regulated, nonprofit centers to grow and sell marijuana to registered patients.” Only fifteen states allow medical marijuana.
An August 2012 Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found that 58 percent of Massachusetts voters supported ending state and civil penalties for medical marijuana use among qualifying patients. PPP surveyed more than 1000 likely voters by phone.
Medical marijuana remains controversial
The initiative remains controversial. In a guest post for the Globe, Dr. James B. Broadhurst, chairman of the Vote No on Question 3 Coalition, writes that as a physician specializing in addiction, the vote is concerning. “In Massachusetts the explosion of the narcotics supply, associated with increased pressure to treat pain more aggressively coupled with the decreased sense of risk related to these drugs prescribed by a physician, has led to greater use by our young people,” he writes.
CBS News reports that opponents to Question 3, including Heidi Heilman of the Massachusetts Medical Society, assert safeguards aren’t strong enough to prevent abuse among young people. “We just opened our fourth recovery high school in Massachusetts, and the number one drug that kids are in treatment for in those high schools is marijuana,” she says.
Some proponents of medical marijuana want an even more expansive law. “The crucial problem with Question 3 is that it addresses a half-measure, medicalization, rather than the real issue, legalization,” writes Jeffrey A. Miron, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, in The Huffington Post. “Marijuana prohibition makes no sense.”
Medical marijuana in Massachusetts isn’t the only movement proponents of medical marijuana are watching. Life Matters Media recently reported on patient and physician-based organization Americans for Safe Access, which in October urged a federal appeals court to ease regulations on marijuana. The drug is classified as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has no medically accepted use and high potential for abuse.
The official blog for the Americans for Safe Access reports that the court has ordered supplemental briefing on the issue of ‘standing,’ which the organization describes as a rare move.
- Advance Care Planning
- Advance Care Planning
- Facing the Darkness
- Health Care
- Health Care
- Hospice and Palliative Care
- In The News
- Life Choices
- Managing Our Mortality
- Politics and Law
- Relationships and Intimacy
- Reuters Health: LMM Reports
- Social Outreach
- Society and Culture
- The Conversation
- Treatments and Illness
- Treatments and Illness
- Voices in Bioethics: LMM Commentary
- What's Fair In Healthcare
- Zion-Benton News
- ZDogg’s Pop Music Parodies End Of Life Care
- Activist Finds Inspiration In Death
- Intensive End Of Life Care On The Rise For Cancer Patients
- Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table
- Six Years After ‘Death Panels’ Debate, Medicare To Pay For End Of Life Talks
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
Daniel Gaitan serves as a content producer...More