Pubdate: Thu, 04 Feb 2010
Source: Times, The (Ottawa, IL)
Copyright: 2010 The Times Company
Author: Dan Linn


Illinois needs to legally protect patients who use cannabis
(marijuana) with the recommendation of their doctor. Ailing patients
should not have to turn to the criminal element to seek relief; they
need safe and legal access to medical cannabis. New Jersey just last
month passed medical cannabis legislation legally protecting patients
and Illinois needs to join the 14 states and District of Columbia in
letting doctors recommend cannabis if they deem it appropriate for the
patient suffering from a serious and debilitating condition.

In response to claims that there is a pill, Marinol, that has the same
effect as medical cannabis I would like to state that Marinol only
contains one cannabinoid, THC, and studies are increasingly linking
other cannabinoids to beneficial treatments. Plus, a pill cannot have
the quick onset of the medication as inhalation can have, which for
some with epilepsy can halt an approaching seizure. The pill form
simply is not the same as the whole cannabis plant.

For legislators concerned about the potential for abuse if these bills
were passed, it should also be noted that the bill has a three-year
sunset clause repealing itself. Furthermore, medical cannabis is a
safe and effective medicine for many ill citizens. Cannabis does not
have a single documented overdose fatality, yet the FDA classifies it
as a schedule 1 narcotic, a classification reserved for the most
dangerous drugs. Until the FDA reclassifies cannabis, state lawmakers
have an obligation to protect sick and dying patients who use medical
cannabis. Moreover, the U.S. Dept. of Justice issued a memo in October
formally ending the federal raids in states that have protected these
patients and Illinois lawmakers should be seen as a green light to do

Please pass Senate Bill 1381 and House Bill 2514, the Compassionate
Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Acts.

DAN LINN, executive director

Illinois Cannabis Patients Association

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D