Lt. Gov. Simon Supports Medical Marijuana - NBC Chicago
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Lt. Gov. Simon Supports Medical Marijuana

Simon says she changed her mind after hearing from people with illness who say pot helps them



    Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon on Sunday said she supports a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana in Illinois.

    Simon told The Associated Press her initial reaction wasn't in support but after hearing from people with illnesses she changed her mind. She said it's a tightly-restricted plan.

    The proposal -- HB 1 -- allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or medical conditions. It's passed the House and awaits a Senate vote. Gov. Pat Quinn hasn't indicated if he'll sign it.

    Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering detrimental side effects of other prescription drugs.

    Opponents say the program could encourage recreational use, especially among teenagers. The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association are opponents.