SPRINGFIELD, Ill. --- In a move whose speed took even supporters by surprise, the House Health and Human Services Committee approved the medical marijuana bill passed by the full Senate yesterday.
The committee had approved the House version of the bill earlier in the year, but needed to ok the Senate version, which had received several amendments.
"I am delighted by the way this legislation has continued to pick up momentum," said Dan Linn, Executive Director of the Illinois Cannabis Patients Association. "Illinois voters overwhelmingly want to protect patients who need medical marijuana, and both houses of the legislature are hearing that message loud and clear."
Julie Falco of Chicago, who uses medical marijuana to relieve the painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis and who has been advocating for medical marijuana legislation since 2004, said, "I want to personally thank all the members of the committee for listening to the patients who need this medicine and understanding why we don't have time to wait. We don't want to be criminals for simply trying to cope with our illnesses, and I truly believe this will be the year we finally get some relief."
Swift committee passage is seen as greatly increasing the chances that the full House will act on the measure before the end of the legislative session May 31.