Chicago Tribune, State Journal-Register, Rockford Register Star Endorse Lou Lang’s Illinois Medical Marijuana Bill

(Chicago, IL) — May 5, 2011. In the past few days, Illinois’ leading newspapers have endorsed Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang‘s bill to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois.

Lang, a Democrat from suburban Skokie, has also won support for the measure from House GOP Leader Tom Cross (R-Owego), giving the legislation an important boost in the lower chamber.

The bill likely faces a vote today, according to Lang.

Here are the editorials:

Chicago Tribune

Therapeutic pot

The Illinois legislature is close to legalizing medical marijuana. Before you scream in protest, or launch into a Cheech and Chong joke, give this some consideration. Illinois could pass a model law for the rest of the country.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis act, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), could pass the House this week, thanks in large part to a change in position by House Republican leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego). The timing may finally be right.

The Senate approved a medical marijuana bill in 2009, but the House narrowly rejected it last January. A revised bill has gained the support of Cross, a former Kendall County prosecutor. He says he’s comfortable with the strict guidelines written into this version.

Read more …

Rockford Register Star

Our View: Legislators should vote yes on improved medical pot bill

Illinois lawmakers have crafted a medical marijuana bill that is precise, restrictive and should alleviate concerns of those who worry the drug will fall into the wrong hands.

House Bill 30, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, may succeed where other legislation has failed.

Members of the Illinois House are expected to vote on the bill this week. We have supported previous incarnations of this legislation and think this one is the best yet. We hope representatives agree and vote yes.

HB 30 restricts who, how much and where patients can get medical marijuana. It would only be available for people who have debilitating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis and they must have a doctor’s prescription. Prescriptions would need to be renewed every two weeks, and the amount of the drug would be limited to 2.5 ounces.

Read more …

State Journal-Register

Our Opinion: OK revised medical marijuana legislation

Supporters of medical marijuana in Illinois got a big boost recently when House Minority Leader Tom Cross came over to their side.

Cross, R-Oswego, was among the 60 representatives on Jan. 6 who helped defeat the last medical marijuana bill, which fell just four votes shy of passage. He says he’ll support a new version of that bill.

We urge Cross’ House colleagues to do the same.

Why the change for Cross? For one thing, the new bill is more restrictive than its predecessor. But Cross also listened to people like Diane Harper of Shorewood, whose husband, Jeff, suffers from lymphoma and found relief from chronic nausea only from smoking marijuana. Jeff’s weight had fallen from 170 pounds to 111 when he began using marijuana to quell nausea. Now he’s up to 149.

“Do you know how sickening it is to tell your kids something they’re not supposed to do is necessary to keep their dad alive?

Read more …

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