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Elena Schneider/Medill Reports

Doctors and medical marijuana supporters Tuesday held a news conference at the Thompson Center. The Illinois House of Representatives Wednesday 61-57 passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana.    

House passes medical marijuana bill

by Sepideh Nia
April 17, 2013

The Illinois House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana for patients with one of 33 medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis and cancer.  House Bill 1 passed with a narrow margin of 61-57 and now makes its way to the Senate

“We’re very happy about it and very thankful,” said Dan Riffle, deputy director of government relations at the Marijuana Policy Project.  “We expect it to get passed with a close vote as it was in the House.”

The four-year pilot medical marijuana bill would allow persons who fit the criteria to be able, with a doctor’s recommendation, to legally possess no more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every 14 days.

Riffle said a similar bill passed through the Senate in 2009.

The pilot program will not begin until Jan. 2014, according to the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie).  

State Rep. Mike Bost spoke against the bill, saying every one of the 18 states that has implemented medical marijuana laws has had problems.

Other concerns in the House included medical marijuana getting into hands of people without one of the 33 medical conditions and driving under the influence of marijuana.