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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Lang Hopefull on Illinois Medical Marijuana Approval

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois medical marijuana bill did not come to a vote in the Illinois House before Illinois General Assembly’s spring legislative deadline expired on May 31, but House sponsor State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) remains hopeful.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1381, passed both the Senate 30-28 and the House Human Services Committee 4-3

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), left, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), left, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

last week, but still lacked enough votes in the full House.

“Although (the) top priority was the tax bill, I think the time has come for Illinois to enact a medical marijuana law. We just need to shore up a few votes before calling this bill to the floor,” said Lang, a Deputy Majority Leader and chief House sponsor of the plan.

State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

“It was dramatic that the bill got out of the Senate,” Haine said in an interview with the Alton Telegraph. “We had a busy spring. This bill was one of hundreds. It had one of the highest profiles because it surrounded the whole debate on drugs and marijuana and came with a lot of baggage.”

Lawmakers retun to Springfield for the veto session in the fall.

Other legislative sponsors:

State Senators: Iris Martinez, Jeff Schoenberg, Donne Trotter, Kwame Raoul and Linda Holmes.

State Representatives: Angelo Saviano, John Fritchey, and Karen Yarbrough.