The bill would have established a three-year pilot program to allow people with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and severe fibromyalgia, to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of from registered non-profit dispensaries every two weeks.
Sad to see four representatives just vote “present” and not take a position. Had they voted yes, it’s a 57-61 and we just need to flip three of those “noes” to get it to pass. Especially when we’re talking about a pilot program that would have had to have been voted on in three years to remain in place, so even if it didn’t turn out as they had expected, they could have just let it die after three years.
After the failed vote, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang, Democrat from Skokie, postponed consideration of the bill, which means it could be brought back to the floor for another vote in the future. During discussion on the bill, Lang repeatedly pointed to the House gallery where disabled Army veteran, Jim Champion, of Somonauk – who has multiple sclerosis and uses marijuana to treat his symptoms — was seated.
“The question is are we going to make Jim Champion a criminal?” Lang said.
“At night when I sleep, my knees grind together, and I almost end up turning into a ball. I wake up in the morning and take my pills, and they do nothing,” Champion said. “I take three puffs off acigarette, and I am able to separate my legs. I am able to basically get ready in the morning.”
Jim’s my champion for standing up for medical marijuana in Illinois and refusing to back down even after this latest roadblock.