By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Illinois state lawmakers are expected in the coming days to once again consider legislation that seeks to allow for the limited use of cannabis by authorized patients.
During a special ‘veto session’ to be held later this month, House members are expected to vote on House Bill 30, which seeks to establish a pilot program to allow for the state-authorized distribution of cannabis to patients with qualifying medical conditions. Previous roll calls have demonstrated legislative support in the House to be just shy of a majority. That said, today’s political landscape is far different now than it was in 2011 — the last time Illinois House members debated this issue. If you reside in Illinois, you can view the 2011 roll call on HB 30 via the Marijuana Policy Project here. If your House member is among those voting ‘no’ on HB 30, then it is vital that you write or call him/her today and urge him/her to vote ‘yes’ on HB 30. House contact information, along with a prewritten letter in support of HB 30, is available from NORML here.
Eighteen states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington and the District of Columbia — have enacted laws qualified protecting medical marijuana patients from state prosecution. Seriously ill citizens in Illinois are only a handful of votes away from gaining this same protection.
NORML will continue to update you on the progress of HB 30 in Illinois. To receive legislative alerts regarding pending cannabis law reform measures in your state, sign up for NORML News Alerts here.