The Illinois Senate has voted to approve the Marijuana Bill, pertaining to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. If the bill is signed into law, Illinois will be marked as the second-most-populous state in America (after California) to permit legal use of the drug for strictly medical reasons.
After an hour-long debate, the proposed law was passed 35-21 last Friday, May 17, 2013. The bill has now been moved to Governor Pat Quinn’s office for his signature. Gov. Quinn previously stated that he is supportive of the bill, mainly for the reason of benefiting injured veterans.
According to Dan Riffle, deputy director of government relations for the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, they are expecting Gov. Quinn to sign the bill.
However, Senator Bill Haine believes this bill is currently the toughest medical marijuana bill in the nation. Republicans who voted against the bill stated that legalizing marijuana may lead to abuse of other illegal substances. Additionally, there were others against the bill because they were not persuaded enough that the positive effects of medical marijuana would prevail over its potentially negative effects.
At present, eighteen states and the District of Columbia have already legalized the use of medical marijuana.