Illinois House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Apr 17, 2013

Medical marijuana took a significant step toward becoming law in Illinois Wednesday. For the first time, it won approval in the House of Representatives.

Credit Caveman 92223 / Flickr

  The vote was close -- 61-57 -- and lawmakers were vacillating until the last minute.


People who decided to support medical marijuana say they heard from constituents who told them it's the best way they've found to relieve their pain. Representative Mike Tryon, a Republican from Crystal Lake, says he visited a man whose legs had been amputated.

There was no drug that worked for his phantom leg pain. The only thing that worked for his pain was the use of cannabis. That was very convincing.

But others are worried about people abusing the system, including Representative Jim Sacia, a Republican from Pecatonica.

If I vote no on this, I'm still a compassionate person. I just can't get there on making marijuana legal.

Supporters say this would be the strictest medical marijuana law in the country. To be eligible for medical marijuana, a patient would have to have one of 33 so-called "debilitating" conditions, such as cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease, or Multiple Sclerosis.

The Illinois Senate passed a similar bill in 2009.

Here's how your representative voted on the Medical Cannabis Bill.