The Digital Journalism Blog

Mary Jane’s Last Dance??

Mary Jane’s Last Dance In Illinois?

By: Dan Bradley and John Porter

PEORIA, Ill.– The current deadline to approve a medical marijuana bill in the state of Illinois has been extended by 30 days, according to Mark Wachtler of If the bill passes, Illinois will become the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana.

The current medical marijuana laws are widely regarded as the strictest in the nation. The Illinois State Senate has already approved the measure; however, the State House has repeatedly shut down similar bills.

Recent polls indicate Illinois citizens are in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana, with 65% of those polled in favor of decriminalizing for medical purposes (however, recreational use would still be a crime).

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While Federal Law currently prohibits the use of marijuana, 18 states and the District of Columbia currently allow marijuana’s medicinal use. Additionally, In November 2012, Colorado and Washington State voted to allow marijuana for recreational purposes. It is believed that Illinois’ passing of this bill would reopen a debate between the supremacy of State vs. Federal law.

In a recent interview with Dr. Alan Galsky, Vice President of Student Affairs at Bradley University, Dr. Galsky spoke about the federal and local implications of marijuana’s legalization.

“It’s possible in these states [including Illinois] that Federal Government would probably look the other way unless the use was so egregious,” Dr. Galsky said.

“I don’t think [the Federal Government] wants to get into that.”

Galsky believes there is legitimate scientific evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis as therapeutic treatment for pain, especially chronic pain such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.

In 18 states and the District of Columbia, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge. In other states, such possession is a felony charge.

Cannabis has been controversial throughout the course of history. It has been labelled as a “poison,” and for a while was linked to violent crime and overly sexual behavior, especially during the 1930’s.

The following is a video of the interview with Dr. Galsky in its entirety:

To see a timeline of the legal history of marijuana, please see the link below.!date=1915-07-27_15:16:10!

Note: The following works were referenced in the writing of this article:

1. Viewed 12/7/12

  1. Viewed 12/9/12
  2. Viewed 12/7/12

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