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3. Medical Marijuana in Illinois
Medical marijuana legislation was passed years ago in the Illinois Senate, but Republicans in the Illinois House—even those who privately agreed with the measure—wouldn't bring themselves to vote for it.
After Democrats cleaned up in Nov. 2012, outgoing incumbents were expected to vote yes in a lame duck session. When that didn't happen, Illinois state Rep. Louis Lang re-filed his bill. Again. This time, he's convinced it'll pass.
MPP thinks it will, too, even if that means rooting for one of the strictest medical marijuana laws in the country, per Mark Wachtler:
The first round of revisions to the bill’s wording added penalties of up to 2 years in prison for selling marijuana to someone without a state-issued medical marijuana ID card. Also added was a provision making this a pilot program, expiring after a 3-year trial period. Additional amendments made it illegal for patients to operate a motor vehicle for up to 12 hours after using the drug and addressed anticipated problems arising between patients prescribed the medication and employer drug testing and termination policies.
Even further revisions to the Bill added restrictions on campaign contributions from persons, businesses or organizations running marijuana dispensaries, imposed a $5,000 application fee and a $20,000 certificate fee for dispensaries, and raises the amount of salable marijuana from 2 ounces every 14 days to 2.5 ounces.
"Democrats have traditionally been more supportive of medical marijuana than their conservative counterparts and will hold a record-high number of seats in both the Senate and the House," says MPP. "The bill was within three votes of passing in the previous legislature, so there's no reason it shouldn't pass now."