18 April 2013, 11:03

Illinois House votes in favor of medical marijuana bill

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Marijuana in the USA
Marijuana in the USA

The Illinois House of Representatives has voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use. The bill is now going to the state Senate. If passed there and then signed by the state governor, Illinois will become the 21th US state allowing the drug as a form of treatment.

The bill was passed with a narrow majority. 61 lawmakers voted in favor, 57 voted against. The voting was preceded by an emotional debate with lawmakers telling stories’ of their friends and relatives seeking relief from pain and sickness, a local newspaper wrote.

Illinois Governor pat Quinn said he is open-minded on the proposal.

According to national polls, most Americans view medical marijuana use favorably.

Use of marijuana is not considered illegal in 20 US states, provided the drug has been prescribed by a doctor. Washington and Colorado states have allowed marijuana for recreational use as well.

Voice of Russia, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune

First medicinal marijuana school opens in Nevada despite ban

Potentially, a lucrative industry for the state of Nevada, the first medical marijuana school has opened its doors, even though a ban is imposed on the schedule one drug. Business owners-to-be can attend Budtender School, at the Cannabis Career Institute.

The $249 one-day class aims to teach people how to bake marijuana into pastry items, along with how to grow it legally. Still, lawmakers are contemplating a bill which would give patients the right to the drug after more than a decade of Nevada voters having approved of its medical usage. One response has already been taken last Thursday when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill but called for regulation on marijuana dispensaries.

Though it is a victory for Nevada, a bill for the use of recreational pot usage did not pass through an assembly committee on Friday. Head of the Cannabis Career Institute in Henderson, Nevada, Robert Calkin, said to the Las Vegas Sun, "It's coming. Nevada has always been cutting-edge socially and politically. It was ahead of other states on gambling and prostitution, and (marijuana) is a lot less problematic. Nevada appears to be on the cusp of approving it."

Calkin is well aware of the federal law which bans the distribution and cultivation of marijuana. State laws cannot keep the federal government from arresting pot dispensary owners and locking them up.

Voice of Russia, Las Vegas Sun

Medical marijuana bill passes in Maryland

The Maryland Senate has approved a measure allowing medical marijuana programs at research centers.

The action sends the bill to Governor Martin O'Malley, who indicated he is likely to sign the bill.

The Democratic governor noted his decision would hinge on whether the bill includes provisions enabling the governor to suspend the program if the federal government decides to prosecute state employees who administer it. The provisions were included in the bill earlier this session.

Concerns about medical marijuana violating federal law have been around for years, as more than a dozen other states and the District of Columbia have moved forward.

The measure would create a commission within the state health department to oversee programs.

A participating medical center would be required to specify the medical conditions it would treat and the criteria by which patients would be allowed to participate. A medical center also would have to provide the state health department data on patients and caregivers on a daily basis. The department would also have to make the data available to law enforcement.

Voice of Russia, the Huffington Post

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