A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to provide relief from the symptoms of certain serious illnesses has cleared the Illinois House, even though all Springfield-area representatives voted against it.
The measure creates a four-year pilot program with significant restrictions. It would allow doctors to prescribe, and patients to use, marijuana to combat the symptoms of specific illnesses, from cancer (and chemotherapy) to multiple sclerosis to AIDS.
Critics fear the the legislation will open the door to more widespread use of marijuana. Among those voting "no" were Springfield area representatives Sue Scherer, Raymond Poe, Rich Brauer and Wayne Rosenthal. The bill now goes to the Senate, where supporters think it will pass. Governor Pat Quinn says he's keeping an open mind on the bill.