COLLINSVILLE, IL (KTVI) - Illinois could soon become the 19th state to allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
The Illinois state Senate passed, "House Bill 1, The Medical Cannabis Pilot Program" by a 35-21 vote on Friday. This four year pilot program allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with chronic disease.
The bill calling is now on its way to the governor.
There would be 22 licensed growers and 60 sites across the state were patients could pick up their pot prescription of not more than 2.5 ounces every two weeks.
There are safeguards in the bill, including a verification system, a registration ID card and doctors would have to show they have a long term relationship with the patient. The drug could not be used in public, in cars, in the presence of minors or near school grounds.
An electronic verification system will be set up with the program to keep tabs on prescriptions.
Patients with chronic diseases or conditions like cancer and AIDS could use medical marijuana.
Carlotta Hampton, a Collinsville resident, supports the bill, “My sister died from cancer a few years ago. If it’s something that would have helped, I would say yes.”
Collinsville Pharmacist Ken Bolton has some reservations, “It was considered taboo all these years, all of the sudden it’s going to be the panacea for everyone? I doubt that very much.”
Supporters say more than three fourths of all Americans support the use of marijuana for medical purposes.