Medical Marijuana Bill Stalled - NBC Chicago

Medical Marijuana Bill Stalled

November elections may determine the future of medical marijuana bill



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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 21: An older woman smokes a marijuana joint at Seattle's Hempfest on August 21, 2004. More than 150,000 people were expected to attend Hempfest at Seattle's Myrtle Edwards Park on Seattle's waterfront on August 21-22, 2004. The event is billed as the world's largest drug-policy reform rally. Events included political speakers and dozens of bands and performers on six stages and over 20 organizations were present registering new voters. (Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)

    Illinois House lawmakers will likely not pass the dutchie until next legislative session.

    The State Senate passed the Compassionate Use of Medicinal Cannabis Pilot Program Act last month and sent it to the House. 

    However, the powerful Rules Committee is still puffing on it instead of sending it to the Governor's desk or back to the Senate, according to the Northwest Indiana Times. 

    "That's because it's an election year and politicians are afraid to do what's right," said Dan Linn, executive director of the Illinois Cannabis Patients Association.

    Rep. Lou Lang, (D) Skokie, who sponsored the bill, said not enough of his colleagues support it. He doesn't expect a vote until at least January 2011. 

    Linn said the winner of the governor's race would determine if patients with debilitating diseases will be able to grow up to three mature marijuana plants at one time.

    Sen. Bill Brady, the Republican nominee, staunchly opposes the bill. If Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn remains in office, more lawmakers would probably support it, he said. 

    The president of Educating Voices, Inc., Judy Kremer, believes marijuana should remain illegal.

    "On one side you have a few people who are really sick and smoking pot may help, on the other side  you literally have tens of thousands whose lives would be negatively impacted from legalizing the drug," she said.

    Some lawmakers may want to extinguish this hot button issue no matter who wins in November.