Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 2009
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2009 The State Journal-Register
Author: Dan Linn


Illinois medical cannabis patients cannot wait another year to be 
protected from arrest for using a medicine their doctor recommends. 
Illinois' medical cannabis patients need safe and legal access to 
their medicine.

Over the past few years, the law enforcement lobby in Springfield has 
constantly opposed our efforts to protect these patients, all the 
while claiming to be "compassionate" toward the sick. If law 
enforcement were willing to work with the sponsors of these bills, 
perhaps Illinois medical cannabis patients would be protected today.

Currently, Senate Bill 1381 has been amended to allow patients or 
their caregivers to grow six plants, only three of which could be 
mature females. Hopefully, this will halt the claims by law 
enforcement that seven plants would yield thousands of joints. Also, 
Illinois does allow for a medical cannabis program for doctors 
engaged in research according to section 11 of the Cannabis Control 
Act. However, every application that I know of that has been sent in 
over the past eight years has been denied. The denial even states 
that the Department of Human Services does not plan on implementing 
the program in the foreseeable future.

So we have a defunct medical cannabis program on the books, and law 
enforcement keeps derailing any legislative effort to protect these 
patients. When will Illinois wise up and allow people to use this 
plant to treat serious medical conditions? Cannabis is a safe and 
effective medicine that probably should be legal for all adults to 
use responsibly for recreational purposes, yet Illinois cannot even 
allow for the sick and dying using this plant to treat their illnesses.

These patients are not criminals; they are people trying to survive. 
Please tell your state legislators to pass Senate Bill 1381 and House 
Bill 2514.

Dan Linn

Illinois Cannabis Patients Association Sycamore
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