The sponsor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois says the people who would benefit aren’t potheads; they’re real, sick people such as Paul Bachmann, a Plano man who has multiple sclerosis. “How much more (prescription drugs) does our state want us to consume?” Bachmann asks. “How much more do we have to be addicted (to prescription drugs such as Oxycontin)? How much more are we going to have to wait until we can get the relief we need?”
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The wheelchair-bound Bachmann was one of four patients joining State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) at a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda in support of medical marijuana. One also has multiple sclerosis; the others have Crohn’s disease and terminal pancreatic cancer. Lang says his bill would be the strictest of its kind in the nation and would bypass mistakes other states have made; in California, he says, you don’t even have to have a relationship with a doctor to ask him or her to prescribe medical cannabis. Lang says the Illinois bill specifies marijuana as a remedy for any of 33 ailments.
Lang hopes the bill can get a floor vote in the House this week or next.