Use of medical marijuana approved by Illinois House - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Use of medical marijuana approved by Illinois House

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

In a 61-57 vote, the Illinois House approved the use of medical marijuana Wednesday.

If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Quinn, the legislation would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal diseases or debilitating conditions. It also includes an outline for a four-year pilot program that would require patients and caregivers to go through background checks. A 2.5 ounce limit per patient per purchase would be set.

The bill's supporters say the drug can relive pain without the harmful effects of some prescription drugs, but opponents claim it would encourage recreational use.

The Illinois Senate approved a similar measure in 2009 and Senate President John Cullerton said he would support the current legislation. Governor Quinn has not said whether or not he would sign the bill.

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