By a vote of 35-21, the Illinois Senate approved legislation on Friday that would allow doctors in the state to prescribe marijuana as pain relief for severe medical conditions. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the bill covers 33 specific conditions—including multiple sclerosis, cancer and HIV infection—and includes several controls, with a four-year trial program, dosage limits, fingerprinting, background checks and licensed dispensing centers.
“This bill is filled with walls to keep this limited,” the paper quoted sponsoring Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton), who urged lawmakers to pass the legislation as a compassionate measure for those suffering with extreme pain.
In opposition, Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) said there should be more concern for parents "who will never be relieved from the pain of losing a child due to addiction which in many cases started with [this] very illegal, FDA-unapproved addiction-forming drug," the paper reports.
The bill passed the House in March. Gov. Quinn has not yet indicated whether or not he intends to sign the bill.