Pubdate: Sat, 9 Aug 2008
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2008 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Dan Linn


I would like to thank State Sen. Dave Syverson for taking a stand to
protect Illinois patients.

Last year, he was the lone Republican voting in favor of the medical
cannabis bill in the State Senate. While that bill failed, his courage
to defend patients' rights to choose their medication is very noble.

This year, Senate Bill 2865 and its partner bill, House Bill 5938,
would protect medical cannabis patients in Illinois. A Republican
sponsors the bill in the House, so I hope this vital issue will not
get caught up in partisan politics.

If passed, the Illinois Department of Public Health would administer
the medical cannabis program. To qualify, patients would need written
certification from a doctor to obtain a state-issued medical cannabis
identification card, which must be renewed at regular intervals.

It is cruel that the federal government continues to deny the medical
efficacy of cannabis despite vast scientific evidence to the contrary,
not a documented overdose fatality and a few patients who receive
their medical cannabis from the feds. Twelve states have medical
cannabis programs and Illinois needs to be the next state to allow the
sick and dying to use cannabis for medical reasons.

Dan Linn, executive director, Illinois NORML