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Illinois testing the medical marijuana waters

Reported in the Quad-City Times:

Cancer and AIDS sufferers as well as Illinoisans suffering from glaucoma, would be able to grow, possess and use marijuana without fear of arrest or jail under legislation just introduced in the General Assembly.

But House Bill 4868’s sponsor, Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano, R-River Grove, said his motivation in offering the measure is only to educate his fellow lawmakers.

“I’m approaching this with the idea of seeing where everybody lines up on it – law enforcement, the medical community – to see if this would be something feasible or palatable,” he said.

As a practical matter, he said the measure probably will not make it to the electronic tote board in the House chamber that records the “ayes” and “nays.”

Yes, it’s timid (providing political cover), but it’s also a good sign and a good start for Illinois. The synopsis of the bill is:

Creates the Medical Cannabis Act. Provides that a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition and the person’s primary caregiver may be issued a registry identification card by the Department of Human Services that permits the person or the person’s primary caregiver to legally possess no more than 6 Cannabis Sativa plants and one ounce of usable cannabis. Provides that a person who possesses a registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, for the medical use of cannabis; provided that the qualifying patient or primary caregiver possesses an amount of cannabis that does not exceed 6 Cannabis Sativa plants and one ounce of usable cannabis. Amends the Cannabis Control Act to make conforming changes consistent with the Medical Cannabis Act. Effective immediately.

More information available at IDEAL – Illinois Drug Education and Legislative Reform.

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