Illinois could be next to legalize medical marijuana - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois could be next to legalize medical marijuana

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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

The General Assembly returned to the state capital today for the annual fall session.

One of the pieces of legislation up for discussion, the medical marijuana bill.

Supporters are eager to get doctors the right to prescribe the drug patients suffering from diseases, such as AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.

Some here in the heartland are all for it.

"It is necessary and natural substance and it's very helpful if you have glaucoma," says Eunice Buck, a heartland resident.

"I think it's a good option for treating cancer,"  says Bill Steinmetz.

"It helps people who are sick, who need help eating food and relieve pain. They give other medicines for it, they should do the same if it's there," says Gerard Archibald. 

"I think alcohol is way worse," says Buck. 

But according to a few local doctors I spoke with today, it's just not needed.

They say they have other means of treating their patients, marijuana is not the only option.

Those doctors say it is very rare when it is absolutely necessary.

If passed, qualified patients would be allowed to buy and use up to 2.5 ounces of the drug during a two-week period.

Which some locals say could lead to abuse.

"It's habit forming, you are going to get people stuck on this stuff potentially," says Jeff M., a local resident. "My understanding is it leads to more serious drug use. Not marijuana, but more like cocaine and stuff like that. But marijuana is like a stepping stone to a drug that's even worse."

No word on when the bill will come up for a vote.

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