Medical marijuana for epilepsy, smoke-free college campus measures advance

April 3rd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

SPRINGFIELD — Children would be able to use medical marijuana to treat severe cases of epilepsy and public universities would ban smoking on campuses under measures lawmakers advanced Wednesday.

The medical marijuana proposal cleared the Senate 49-5 as sponsoring Sen. Iris Martinez dismissed worries that children would be “getting stoned.” The Chicago Democrat said the oil part of the cannabis plant that’s been helpful to children contains little to no THC — the element often associated with getting high.

The bill, which heads to the House, would add epilepsy to the list of ailments that medical marijuana can be used for in Illinois and restrict use for epilepsy patients to those under age 18. Medical marijuana was approved by lawmakers last year for numerous ailments, but it is not expected to be available for the public until 2015.

Martinez said she took up the issue after receiving a letter from a mother who moved to Colorado with her child so he could receive medical marijuana to treat his seizures.

“They had to leave their family and their home in Chicago,” Martinez said. “I’m a mom, and that letter moved me to do something.”

The children would be given the oil to drink or take intravenously if they cannot swallow.
Republican Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington objected, saying calling it a hard choice because “children are struggling.”

“I have concerns about medical marijuana in general,” Brady said.

On the other side of the Capitol, the House voted 67-44 to make public universities and community college campuses smoke-free.

Sponsoring Rep.

Article source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-medical-marijuana-for-kids-smokefree-college-campus-measures-advance-20140402,0,1153267.story

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