State News
4:33 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

IL Senate approves Medical Marijuana

The Illinois Senate approved legislation FRIDAY that would legalize the medical use of marijuana. Brian Mackey has more.

In the end, the vote was not that close -- 35 senators voted yes, 21 no.

Sen. Bill Haine sponsored the measure. The Democrat, from Alton, frequently reminds his colleagues he was once a prosecutor. He says the idea is to help people in pain find relief."It is not about recreational drug use. It is not about using this substance to get 'high,' quote-unquote,” says Sen. Haines.

But opponents say that's just what they think will happen. Sen. Kyle McCarter is Republican from Lebanon."We're making a decision today to say in our communities that marijuana use is OK," says Sen. McCarter. 

Anyone wanting medical marijuana will have to prove they have one of several dozen listed conditions, ranging from cancer and HIV to a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.

The measure now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who says he's "open minded" on the idea.