The Illinois Senate approved legislation Friday that would legalize the medical use of marijuana. The vote was not close -- 35 senators voted “yes,” 21 cast “no” votes.
Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), who sponsored the measure, frequently reminds his colleagues he was once a prosecutor. He said the idea behind the bill is to help people in pain find relief.
“It is not about recreational drug use. It is not about using this substance to get 'high,' quote-unquote," Haine said.
A group of doctors and drug-policy officials called on Illinois lawmakers to not approve a bill (HB 1) that would allow the medical use of marijuana.
The comments were made as the American Society of Addiction Medicine holds its annual meeting in Chicago.
Medical marijuana took a significant step on April 17 toward becoming law in Illinois. For the first time, it won approval in the House.
The vote was close (61-to-57), and lawmakers were vacillating until the last minute.
People who decided to support medical marijuana said they heard from constituents who told them it's the best way they've found to relieve their pain.
But others are worried about people abusing the system.
Southeast Iowa’s newest state lawmaker says he is still getting used to the state capitol.