Haine, Lang Announce Illinois State Police Reverse Opposition to Illinois Medical Marijuana Legislation

State Senator William Haine

(Springfield, IL) – May 5, 2010.  State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) and House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) yesterday announced the Illinois State Police are no longer opposed to medical marijuana use in Illinois.

Lang and Haine met with Captain Timothy Becker of the Illinois State Police earlier and Becker informed the lawmakers that the Illinois Department of State Police had changed its position on Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, from opposition to neutrality.

“I am extremely pleased by Illinois State Police’s decision, because it improves the probability of the bill’s approval,” said Lang.

“This legislation is intended to alleviate pain in people suffering debilitating medical conditions and the Illinois State Police recognize that,” he said.

Haine said he believed the Department changed its position after carefully reviewing the legislation and recognizing the safeguards will protect patients, caregivers and the public.

Haine also noted that in a number of states, police organizations have removed their objections after a period of observing their laws in operation.

“As a former State’s Attorney, I have the greatest respect for the police organizations of our State and local governments.  This change of position demonstrates what we have known all along, and that is that our State police organization is focused first and foremost on criminal activities as it relates to illegal substances,” Haine said.

“The State Police’s compassion for the seriously ill matches our own,” Lang said. “No one should be denied medicine that might improve their life’s quality.”

In addition to Haine, Senate sponsors include: Iris Martinez (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Donne Trotter (D), Kwame Raoul (D), Linda Holmes (D), and Ira Silverstein (D).

Other House sponsors include: Angelo  “Skip” Saviano (R), John Fritchey (D), Karen Yarbrough (D), Ken Dunkin (D), Greg Harris (D), Cynthia Soto (D), Robyn Gabel (D), and Camille Lilly (D).

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