Nearly 250 Illinois physicians endorse medical marijuana

Illinois House to vote this week on medical marijuana bill

Staff Report

CHICAGO — At a news conference Tuesday, April 16, a group of doctors announced the support of nearly 250 Illinois physicians for allowing patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Specifically, the physicians have signed on to the following statement: “Licensed medical practitioners should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if their medical professionals have told them that such use is likely to be beneficial.”

The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on House Bill 1, which would make Illinois the 19th state to allow patients with certain conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians. It would also establish a network of state-regulated cultivation centers and dispensaries to provide marijuana to qualified patients.

Dan Riffle, deputy director of government affairs with the Marijuana Policy Project, noted: “It should be up to physicians, not police and prosecutors, to decide whether medical marijuana is the right treatment for their patients. Those who benefit from medical marijuana should be able to obtain it legally and safely. Our laws should promote the doctor-patient relationship, not the dealer-patient relationship.”

From the April 17-23, 2013 issue

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