By Anne Holland
Although Illinois State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) has convinced seven fellow lawmakers to co-sponsor his proposed Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act (IL HB30), he’s not sure he has the 60 votes needed to win quite yet. He told press today that “a whole bunch of people are wavering.” So, he’s pushed back today’s scheduled vote to next week and plans to spend this weekend lobbying heavily. Just in case he needs more time, he’s also gotten the final action deadline extended to January 8, 2013.
The bill itself as currently amended is fairly strict. Patients, who may not be active public safety personnel, must have a “debilitating condition” to be considered for a formal certificate. Then they or their primary caregivers would be allowed to possess no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis at any one time.
Also, House Amendment No. 2 to the bill would make it illegal for nonprofit MMJ organizations or political action committees to give campaign contributions to any public official or political committee in Illinois. So voting with your pocketbook is a no-go. For more details on the proposed bill and its amendments, click over to this Illinois government website.
Before Lang first introduced the bill in December 2010, he made passionate speeches from the House floor supporting medical marijuana legalization. (You can check out a YouTube video of him speaking fervently on the topic here.)
Lang, who is pictured with President Obama on the homepage of his website, is also in favor of a minimum wage hike and expanding Illinois gaming. His past recent wins include a bill that ended “predator” 1,000% pay day loans and a bill that cut lawmaker salaries by 10% while freezing raises. In 2003, the Illinois Democratic Women granted Lang their first-ever “Life Time Membership” Award for his legislative work in behalf of the Equal Right Amendment.