CHICAGO — Nearly 250 physicians are calling on Illinois lawmakers to legalize the use of marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.

Three physicians spoke during a news conference Tuesday. They say marijuana can be a safer and more effective treatment than narcotics for patients with diseases such as cancer and HIV.

The Illinois House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would create a medical marijuana pilot program. It would allow physicians who have an existing relationship with a patient to prescribe marijuana for certain conditions. Patients would be limited to buying 2.5 ounces at a time from dispensaries regulated by the state.

Julie Falco of Chicago uses marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms. Falco says she and other patients shouldn’t be considered criminals for trying to ease their suffering.

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(26) comments

cub77

Do it. About time.

Smartone

It's about time for legislators to quit playing doctor and vote yes for those patients in pain. These people are terminally ill and are going to die and you cannot change that so let these people have their pot. As long as prescriptions are required and it is controlled the majority of the public want to see this changed. Any legislator not voting yes doesn't deserve to stay in office and I guess should go to medical school since they know better than the docs.

The Patriot

Just decriminalize it and empty the prisons of the peaceful criminals whose only offense is related to the plant.

exrepub

And now your offense will be that you are related to the patient. I can see it now. The reason it is in my system is because a family member smoked it for medicinal purposes.

BN Resident1

What about the other forty five thousand legit docs who do not want to make $250,000 a year handing out cards to everybody who walks in? I used to smoke pot and I can tell you I do not want to be riding a bicycle and have people stoned out of their mind driving if at all possible. When you have loved ones and children the thought of more people driving while high on pot is not a good thing. If they want people who truly need it for real medical reasons like chemo and what it used to be used for thats one thing but to hand it out to 100% of the people who tell a doc they have one of the eight symptoms thereby legalizing pot for anyone who pays one of the phony docs it a joke and anyone for that should be ashamed of themselves.

annieoakley
annieoakley

WOW!!! Really? do you honestly believe that doctors are that naive or do you think that people with M.S. just want it to be legal so they can drive around while high?

Let me tell you something, PEOPLE ALREADY DRIVE AROUND HIGH!!! Making it legal for those who need it for medicinal reasons doesn't mean they are going to find fewer criminals on the road.

Weed should be legal and controlled just like alcohol is legal and controlled! Weed does less damage to the body and most people after smoking it get the munchies and go to sleep. Get a life already!

falcon

All of the diseases/terminal illnesses that are on the list will have to be proven by a doctor. They will have to go thru blood work/MRI/catscan/lumbar puncture and much more to show they have these illnesses. That is why it states you have to have a relationship with the doctor that is prescribing it. You won't be able to just walk in and say hey i have ms.

Pontiac citizen

Well said BN Resident 1.

mtnbiker

well said BN resident. well said. I hate for those with these horrible diseases to suffer. there is other alternatives.

annie _ look at California, dr's handed out the medic card for marijuana like candy. why on earth would you think that wouldn't happen here or any other state. yes there are lots of people driving around high. slowly they get caught. very slowly. it doesn't start or end there. you ever work with someone who is high. someone high working with or around machinery heavy or not. dangerous. I have more than once taken care of these people. so yes legalize it and see how long you live or how quickly you be injured.
why cant we make alcohol illegal ? if its so great and marijuana is so great. then why not make them equal by making it illegal. I know it will never happen (alcohol). just think how many lives will be saved. just saying. there is so much more to this then medical lives.

ChubbyAlaskaGriz
ChubbyAlaskaGriz

Someone else's pot use is NONE of my business. If I were the persnickety nitpicking type- BOOZE would be my pet cause. I cannot be burdened w/ making your decisions for you. I'm just too busy of a fella. And enjoy MY own rights far too much to want to intrude upon YOURS.

BN Resident1

It ain't your rights I am worried about it is the innocent victim and their family who is killed by a driver who is stoned on Pot.

Bloomguy
Bloomguy

I assume you would be ok with prohibation coming back as well since the same problem exists with booze?

ChubbyAlaskaGriz
ChubbyAlaskaGriz

Most stoners I've known can never find their keys.

ChubbyAlaskaGriz
ChubbyAlaskaGriz

The truth is- I HATE pot and other drugs. I don't partake- and I want them OUT OF MY LIFE. But- when we have laws goofy self-harm against them instead of respecting personal freedoms- and then when I need to dial 911 for police assistance and the cops are delayed because every available car is down on the corner corraling some thugs and making a big bust? Drugs ARE in my life. And I absolutely resent that.

digitalB

A few years ago I was going through some medical issues and was on Oxycontin and Percocet but I was still allowed to drive. I never had any major issues or accidents but I would probably been deemed "impaired" if something had happened.

Really though, there aren't any stats which show that "stoned" drivers are any more likely to cause accidents than "sober" ones. A 2002 review of seven separate studies involving 7,934 drivers reported, “Crash culpability studies have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes.”

Smartone

I could care less if someone is smoking pot that has a terminal illness or debilitating disease like HIV or MS. It is nobody's business but their own if they choose to smoke this stuff with a prescription from a doctor over narcotics produced in a lab by big pharma companies that price gouge for just one pill. I am not worried in the least about these people driving either because the majority of them in their medical condition wouldn't still be driving anyway. The next time your out on the streets in BLM/Normal look around and see how many people are talking on their cell phones or are still texting even though that is against the law. People die everyday in this country from self-centered drivers that use their cell phone and text at the same time. People in our own community have been injured and even died because of cell phones while driving or being a passenger. The pot legalization should not even be an issue because it is a plant of natural substance being used to control pain in these people. As a non-smoker of cigarettes and pot, if I were terminally ill in the future, I would want to have the option for use open to me over using expensive narcotic drugs that create side effects and then you take another pill to counter effect the first etc. People shouldn't have to be considered a criminal when they are terminally ill to get relief nor should they have to move to a legal state which I would consider doing if in that position in life. Legislators on both sides of the aisle should not be making medical decisions for doctors on how to control or relieve pain in a terminally ill patient or someone with a debilitating disease like multiple sclerosis. It is not my business or anyone else what people do in their own home when they are going to die anyway. For those of you that think it is your business, you don't have enough to do and really worry about in your daily life. You also would listen to a politican I guess to over a doctor for how to treat an illness. For that I feel really sorry for you that you did not learn in school that politican's are not scientists nor did they go to medical school. Hopefully are legislators will vote common sense and legalize pot for medical prescriptions for these people that need pain relief they are just not getting with their prescription drugs.

BN Resident1

I agree and I think most people would agree that people with a genuine need should be able to obtain pot for medical purposes but I adamantly oppose letting 100% of the people who want to smoke pot start smoking pot legally like the other states have done. All you have to do is fork over the fee to the Doc and you have a license to smoke pot without any medical condition whatsoever other than the checkmark you put on neck pain or headaches and nobody ever gets turned away.

Reasonable

A no brainer as I see it. The restrictions within this bill are so tough, that the argument could be made that as it stands, it actually is of no value to anybody. (it does not address supply issues) It really only represents a way to start and refine the process of getting help to those truely in need.

BN Resident1

Getting help to those in need can be accomplished but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. That is like saying you want a person to be able to have morphine for pain during surgery so you legalize morphine for anyone who lies to the phony morphine/pot docs so they can abuse morphine. Get real nobody is taking the position or at least no sane sensible person is wanting to keep pot from those in need so stop trying to make it about something that it isn't. The only people who want college kids and others to be able to smoke pot are the ones who want to smoke pot.

That is as phony as the libs anti gun stance wanting background checks. Sounds good on the surface but does not work, criminals do not obey laws so all you do is register the good guys and accomplish nothing as far as deterring criminals from obtaining firearms.

falcon

First off, they are not talking about making it legal for EVERYONE. It would be legal for a very small amount of people with certain diseases. I love how people that do not have 1 of these diseases or are terminally ill, can justify keeping marijuana illegal. I know that anyone that does have them would most likely be willing to trade their health issues for yours. My husband has MS and well as another terminal disease. If it were to become legal, marijuana would help with his uncontrollable tremors, horrible mood swings, etc.. Just 1 pill, 3 times a day to help with his tremors costs over $12,000 for 3 month supply. It is a highly controlled substance that I am sure it has alot more side effects than what marijuana would.
As for driving while high, I am going to guess those that have commented about the people doing this have not read the bill. It states that if you have ingested any marijuana in a certain time frame (hours), you are not legal to drive. The next argument will be how is that going to stop them from driving. Well, you are just going to have to trust them to do the right thing. Just like you have to trust those that have been drinking at a bar not to drive.

senileoldman

Anyone with a sleep condition should be added to that list. Look at what sleeping aids can do to folks and the answer is pretty easy.
Really, it should not be OTC...but pretty close to it. Tax it and fix our infrastructure and education please.

CrazyCooter68

This is just a bad idea. I realize that people with terminal diseases need pain relief but there are others out there with "illnesses" that believe they need it too, the system will be totally abused. "Hey Doc, I have anxiety, or I have insomnia, or I have an ingrown toenail". Anything to get high. Sad.

senileoldman

dude...if you used logic maybe you would understand that is not a bad thing.
anxiety, insomnia, etc....do you have any idea what is prescribed for those right now...and you are worried about weed? Laughable man...laughable. I guess they should get drunk take a hand full of anxiety pills with a floater of sleeping pills and see what happens.
and you are worried about weed. Jesus h Christ your morals are a bit backwards. smoke some for yourself and see what happens...you will be just fine.

Pantareader

In the case of MEDICAL marijuana, I totally agree that this should be legalized as a prescription via medical use only. I think it should be criminalized as a recreational use.

This is no different than the medical use of morphine, which is a highly addictive drug. It is not legal in recreational use.

So, what it really comes down to is, if medical marijuana has health benefits for those in certain medical conditions that it can alleviate pain, etc, then all the more reason to help people in medical needs.

As for recreational use, people can be much more creative in finding healthier and more productive ways than to use marijuana.

exrepub

One problem. Wont it be in the air. So when a patient inhales it everyone else inhales it too? So will these people have it in their system. Great. And you can't smoke in hospitals and I assume the only way to use it is smoking. If a dr was around a lot of these patients wouldn't he get a little high too. I think it is a bad, bad decision. Alcohol is fine too but look what havoc it plays on lives. Marijuana is not that different. Lets make it worse. And when your children get your medicine. Won't you be raising a lot of crack heads.

CLG4
CLG4

The question here is not about whether to legalize or not, the real question is WHAT ABOUT SECOND HAND SMOKE and lawyers suing for presumed illnesses derived from it. Yes I see a lot of unintended consequences arising from this action, but hey it's the liberal thing to do IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD so it's ok. We don't have enough people with chemical imbalances in their brain yet. There is a reason that there has been a rise in ADHD in the last 30 years.The exact causes of ADHD are not known with certainty. Experts do know that ADHD has a strong genetic component. In addition, they think that genes that control the levels of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters seem to be different in those with ADHD. In some cases, though, there is no genetic link to ADHD, but other common behaviors, such as smoking or drinking during pregnancy, as well as other obstetrical complications have been linked to ADHD in children. So what is a typical liberial comeback for this scenario, we already have enough pills for THOSE kids now let's get high.

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