Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Advances, But Under Tightened Restrictions

Control freaks hang on by their fingernails

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Backers of medical-marijuana bills are proposing tighter restrictions on the drug to allay opponents' fears of widespread use, a shift that is helping such legislation advance in additional states.

Illinois and New Hampshire are poised to pass some of the strictest medical-marijuana laws in the nation. They would join New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware in banning patients from growing their own pot, increasing oversight on commercial growers and distributors, and restricting doctors from prescribing the drug for general pain.

The new restrictions are a far cry from the laws passed in the late 1990s, including in California, Colorado and Oregon, which were more ambiguous and, in some cases, made acquiring medical-marijuana prescriptions relatively simple.