Illinios House ducks a tough vote

Most people would do whatever they could to ease the suffering of a loved one with a terrible disease like cancer or AIDS or Parkinson’s.

But when the Illinois House had that chance this week to help some of their constituents by approving medical marijuana, the majority turned their backs. It was just too risky politically, some of the representatives told bill sponsor Rep. Lou Lang. The bill was defeated 53-61, with four members voting present. Rep. Eddie Jackson was the only metro-east legislator to vote “yes.” Rep. Dan Reitz initially voted “yes,” then flipped his vote to “no.”

How sad that any elected representative would not have the political courage to do what he believed was right because he was afraid he might lose a few votes. And how ridiculous that some lawmakers are listening to the baseless hysteria of a small minority of opponents rather than facts and common sense.

For instance, opponents point out that marijuana is illegal under federal law. But the Justice Department has said it will not go after state-sanctioned medical marijuana use. The amounts are small and could only be given out with a prescription, so not everyone could get it. And it would be a trial three-year program, so lawmakers could cancel it if it isn’t working out.

Lang asked that consideration of the bill be postponed, which would allow it to be brought back for another vote. Let’s hope common sense and compassion prevail, and that the bill will still be passed this legislative session.

picture
picture
picture
picture
picture
picture