SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS — The medical marijuana bill, S.B. 2568, passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today by a 6-5 vote as a new poll showed greater than two-to-one support for the measure. Passage would make Illinois the 12th state to protect patients from arrest for use of medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations.
“This is a major step forward,” said Christopher Fichtner, M.D., former director of mental health for the Illinois Department of Human Services. “The evidence that marijuana is a safe, effective medicine for some very ill patients has been repeatedly verified by government commissions in the U.S., Canada, Britain and elsewhere. This is a sensible, well-crafted bill that deserves quick passage.”
Fichtner, a medical consultant to IDEAL Reform, testified at the hearing along with multiple sclerosis patient Julie Falco of Chicago.
Still a close vote, but it’s an important step forward. And it’s great to hear that Julie testified again. I got to meet her last year and she’s one incredible lady.
The new statewide poll of likely general election voters, conducted by Anzalone-Liszt Research, Inc., found 62 percent support for legislation “that would allow people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other serious illnesses to use and grow their own marijuana for medical purposes, as long as their physician approves.” Only 28 percent were opposed, with 10 percent undecided. The poll, conducted by telephone Feb. 10-13, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. Full results of the poll are available at http://www.mpp.org/2006_il_poll.html.