By John Froehling
Here’s an issue that will not appear on the ballot Tuesday as a referendum question but involves legislation that passed the Illinois Senate and stalled in the House: medical marijuana. Consider:
–An Illinois man in hospice care seven years ago now looks forward to walking his daughter down the aisle for her wedding. Diagnosed with six months or less to live for hospice care, he tried smoking marijuana. It relieved nausea and vomiting, as well as stimulated his appetite. He began to eat more and was able keep the food down. He regained his strength and stopped taking medications with awful side effects.
–A businessman moved to Canton from another state that had legalized marijuana for medical purposes. His wife uses cannabis for relief from Crohn’s disease, and he uses it for cramps and anxiety. They thought Illinois would pass a law soon legalizing marijuana for medical purposes like 17 other states have done. They are still waiting.
–A reverend who formerly directed Protestants for a Common Good, a faith-based advocacy group for the legalization of medical marijuana in Illinois, notes a restrictive bill passed by the Illinois Senate over two years ago awaits House action. If nothing is done, House Bill 30 sunsets after three years. The faith-based group supports HB 30 as “a matter of compassion and mercy,” he says.