Friday, May 29, 2009

Medical marijuana may have to wait for vote

By Hilary Russell
Despite two victories this week for legalizing medical marijuana, the bill probably won’t get a floor vote in the Illinois House before the May 31 deadline for the spring legislative session, according to its sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie.

The bill passed out of a House panel last night. The Senate approved SBill 1381 the previous day. See background here.

But medical marijuana is taking a back seat to the state budget and whether it will include income tax increases, which could come up for a vote this evening.

If the medical marijuana bill isn’t called by Sunday, Lang said he could try again when lawmakers return from their summer break. “This bill is only difficult because people want to turn it into politics,” he said. "There are many people on this floor who have said to me, ‘It’s a really great idea, and I think it would help a lot of people, but I can’t vote for it.’”

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