Last month, an Illinois House committee approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes with an 11-4 vote, moving the proposal to the Illinois House of Representatives. Excitingly, the House just recently decided to advance the medical marijuana bill with a 61-57 vote, pushing the bill forward to the state Senate. If the bill goes into law, Illinois could be the 19th state to allow medical marijuana.
The legislation, which would operate on a 4-year pilot program, would be the most strict of any state legislation allowing medical marijuana. Some political figures such as Gov. Pat Quinn say they are ‘open-minded’ on the issue, while others believe that making medical marijuana legal will only lead to recreational use to be legal within the state. It is feared that going as far as to allow recreational use will cause young people to become addicted to marijuana.
Interestingly, the legislation is backed by nearly 250 physicians who requested that lawmakers legalize medical marijuana for the sake of patients with serious illnesses. Many physicians have voiced their opinion that marijuana is a far better alternative to narcotics for individuals with diseases like cancer and HIV.
As mentioned, Illinois will be the 19th state to allow marijuana for medical use, following Connecticut and Massachusetts, the two states which have approved medical marijuana most recently.
With the passing of the bill, it would move the country towards more less legislative restriction on marijuana use. If the federal government were to redirect its focus from incarcerating marijuana users and shutting down legitimate medical marijuana dispensaries, 10’s of millions of dollars would be saved.
Marijuana has Proven Medical Value
Since 1972, there have been numerous attempts to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. A schedule I drug is classified as being dangerous with ‘no currently accepted medical use’. Currently, marijuana is in the same vein as LSD, ecstasy, and even heroin.
In the most recent attempt to have the drug re-classified, which was heard in October of 2012, a group of doctors, medical professionals, and patients defended the copious amount of scientific evidence speaking to marijuana’s beneficial properties.
This groups of individuals, called Americans for Safe Access, agrees with the large portion of the U.S. population that federal drug regulators have failed to recognize marijuana’s role in treating numerous ailments, including pain, nausea, and to a lesser recognized degree, cancer.
As generations continue onward, there is no question that marijuana will be legalized in the future. Soon enough, patients suffering from illnesses that are able to be relieved by marijuana will be able to utilize this natural treatment.