Pubdate: Sun, 26 Oct 2008
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2008 The State Journal-Register
Author: Dan Linn


It is time for Illinois to use compassion and pass Senate Bill 2865,
the Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act, which would allow for
patients with their licensed physician's approval to use cannabis to
treat their ailments. If passed, the law would allow for patients or
their primary caregiver to grow, in an indoor locked room, up to eight
plants and possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis. A patient and their
primary caregiver would be issued a registry ID card by the Department
of Health.

If you or a loved one were sick, wouldn't you want every option
available for your doctor? There has not been one documented overdose
fatality from cannabis, which is not true for many substances found in
most home medicine cabinets. Ultimately, the decision of what medicine
is best for an illness should be left up to the patient and the doctor.

With their doctor's approval, patients should be able to use medical
cannabis without fear of arrest and imprisonment. They should also be
able to rely on a safe supply of medicine, without having to resort to
the dangerous criminal market. This law would neither decriminalize
cannabis for those without a recommendation from their doctor nor
encourage young people to use cannabis; this law is designed to
protect the sick and dying.

Safe access to cannabis for patients and research has been endorsed by
a growing number of professional health-care organizations, including
the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses
Association and, most recently, the Medical Student Section of the
American Medical Association. Our legislature needs to pass SB 2865
and protect patients from arrest and imprisonment for using a medicine
that their doctor recommends.

Dan Linn

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