Medical Marijuana: Getting Some Play in Peoria

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

The Illinois senate narrowly approved a medical marijuana bill today. From the Marijuana Policy Project’s press release:

The Illinois Senate passed a bill today, 30-28, that would allow seriously ill patients with certain debilitating conditions to use marijuana for medical purposes if their physician has recommended it.

Okay, so it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of individual freedom. But that a heartland state’s senate could muster the votes to get even this through seems pretty significant.

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18 Responses to “Medical Marijuana: Getting Some Play in Peoria”

  1. #1 |  Shirley | 

    We have a similiar bill that was just introduced in Delaware: Senate Bill 94. Like the Illinois bill, it is full of restrictions, but I say at least it’s a start !

  2. #2 |  ktc2 | 

    I suppose even such over restrictive medical bills should be celebrated. After all once it’s allowed for the terminal and the world doesn’t end (as most opponents insist will happen with any form of legalization) it will be easier to add more conditions to the list.

  3. #3 |  Ben | 

    Hopefully we get some real research out of these changes, cause it certainly doesn’t address the real problem with the illegality of marijuana.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Drug laws are just as depressing as prostitution laws.

    The way I interpret the Constitution:

    “Congress shall make no law that restricts an individual from pursuing any activities that injure no one against their will.”

    The way the government interprets the Constitution:

    “Government has the right to ban any activity unless participants and proponents can prove that it will not harm others or themselves and then reserves the right to ban it anyway.”

    The way the public interprets the Constitution:

    “The Constitution grants people certain freedoms. Government has the right to make laws that punish people who abuse those freedoms. Laws must comply with the Constitution. Therefore there can be no laws that violate our freedoms.”

  5. #5 |  Eric | 

    The comments to the Chicago Tribune story –,0,3378342.story – are overwhelmingly in favor of the bill (and in fact on legalization generally). Given the usual commenters on that site, that’s a very pleasant surprise.

    My sister has MS and has smoked to alleviate her symptoms. She says it is easily the best treatment available, and beats the expensive prescriptions she otherwise takes. It’s crazy to me that she has to risk the welfare of her children, and her personal liberty, to do it.

  6. #6 |  thomasblair | 

    This is what you get when you frame the debate in terms of sick people being refused medicine instead of framing it around self-ownership and the freedom to control one’s mind and body.

  7. #7 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Baby steps, but freedom-loving people in Peoria (like yours truly) can always use a little good news! There hasn’t been a lot of positive news in IL politics lately. The Pols still don’t get it, but at least they are being pushed to show a little humanity.

  8. #8 |  bob42 | 

    I’d prefer the immediate legalization of all currently prohibited substances, without greedy excessive taxation.

    But sadly folks, that’s just not going to happen anytime soon. The selfish authoritarian wimps that are our elected political representatives parasites don’t have the nuts to uphold the Constitution.

    Additionally, the political industry only does what’s in its own interests, and the prohibition industry has a huge financial interest in continuing the insanity.

    If this baby step in the right direction helps a few folks with dire immediate needs, I say let’s take what we can get, and keep fighting the good fight.

  9. #9 |  jet | 

    I say we need to take a page from the Nanny State and celebrate absolutely every single tiny victory. As we all saw with regards to tobacco, incrementalism (is that a word?) is what works. First you convince people that no one should be allowed to smoke in a public building, then in privately owned establishment, then within 50 feet of the doors of a public building, and pretty soon there are bans at completely outdoor venues such as small municipal ball parks where they play little league and public parks in general. Through the magical power of incrementalism, laws have been introduced in all seriousness that propose banning smoking in your own car or home if there’s a child present.

    So I say, I’ll take an incremental victory. It’s one small step for the terminally ill that will hopefully lead to a giant one towards more personal freedom.

  10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #8 bob42

    …The selfish authoritarian wimps …

    …the political industry… …the prohibition industry…

    And let’s not forget the spineless amoeba-brained sheep that makeup much of the voting population.

  11. #11 |  Zargon | 

    This is what you get when you frame the debate in terms of sick people being refused medicine instead of framing it around self-ownership and the freedom to control one’s mind and body.

    This is, of course, entirely intentional. He who frames the debate wins the debate. The more overarching problem being that almost nobody even understands the concept of self-ownership anymore – and it’s even a self-describing term.

  12. #12 |  eb white | 

    Tyson Settlement Calls for Chicken Donation
    By The Associated Press
    5/28/2009 12:01:01 PM

    Change font size

    EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Up to 1.7 million pounds of Tyson chicken could be headed to Illinois food banks, courtesy of a class-action lawsuit settlement.

    A Madison County judge on Wednesday signed off on the deal involving donations from Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods, the world’s biggest meat producer.

    The lawsuit accused Tyson of artificially inflating the weight of poultry products sold between 1997 and 2003 through a chilling process that caused the birds to absorb and retain water under their skin and muscle.

    Tyson denies any wrongdoing and says it settled the 7-year-old lawsuit to avoid further legal costs.

    The chicken will be distributed by Feeding Illinois, a coalition of eight food banks that provides food throughout the state.

    bawkbawkbawk baawwk bawkbawk!

  13. #13 |  Don K | 

    Considering Proposal 1 in Michigan last year received 63% of the votes, and I don’t think Illinois is more conservative on these kinds of things than Michigan, I’d just call this the pols finally catching up with the voters.

    Seriously, Prop 1 was approved in every county in the state, and by large margins in the counties with more than one Senate district, which probably means it carried all 38 of the Senate districts in Michigan. Given that, why then the narrow margin in the Illinois Senate?

    And yes, that question was rhetorical, so no need to post answers.

    In any event, it’s good to see a majority of the pols on the right side for once.

  14. #14 |  nemo | 

    It is interesting, is is not, that this is taking place in a State where the former Bush II’s Deputy Drug Czar “Dr.” Andrea Barthwell now resides, and where she campaigns against ‘smoked’,/i> cannabis as having no medicinal value?

    You see, back when she was a ‘public servant’, she used to rail that cannabis had no medicinal value at all, zero, zip, nada, none. That was until she became a board member of GW Pharmaceuticals, which is attempting to market a cannabis-based spray.

    Then all of a sudden the Party line became ‘smoked’ cannabis didn’t have any medicinal value. My, how convenient. And dear Andrea has been politicking in Illinois against home-grown medicinal cannabis ever since. You can bet she’s been using her organizations to bend the ears of malleable and ignorant State legislators against the MMJ law.

    The shameless hypocrisy of DrugWarriors knows no bounds…

  15. #15 |  Our Morning Roundup: D.C. Gets Not Just Housewives, But Real Worlders - City Desk - Washington City Paper | 

    […] Illinois State Senate passed a bill yesterday legalizing medical marijuana. Pot, along with gay marriage, is going to make this country a better place. I can feel it. (I […]

  16. #16 |  Curious observer | 

    I don’t think this news reflects a “heartland state” waking up as much as it reflects how much Chicago sensibilities have come to dominate Illinois state government. A geographical breakdown of the vote would be most revealing…

  17. #17 |  mr. legal highs | 

    The difference amidst recreational consumption and medical employment of cannabis begs to be recognized. Although I believe that a responsible adult ought to have the right to use marijuana recreationally, I do believe, without doubt, allowing a sick person use of a plant with a long history of medical value should be accepted and legal. Marijuana has a large potential as a medicine and more awareness and tolerance is needed. In Summary, legalize it!

  18. #18 |  Legalize buds | 

    Hey, its a start. How they can keep alcohol legal and not marijuana is beyond me, but at least people now have it as a pain relief option.