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Ill. Senate panel passes medical cannabis proposal

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:26 p.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Legislation that would allow minors and those with epilepsy to use medical cannabis in Illinois is one step closer to law.

A Senate committee passed the proposal on Tuesday without opposition.

State Sen. Iris Martinez is sponsoring the measure. The Democrat from Chicago says using medical marijuana improves the quality of life for minors suffering from epilepsy.

Supporters say consuming oil from the marijuana plant reduces seizures and doesn't get children high. They say traditional epilepsy medicines are addictive and leave children feeling "stoned."

Opponents say they're against any measure legalizing marijuana use because it violates federal law. They also say legalizing marijuana for minors contradicts drug prevention programs.

The measure amending Illinois' four-year medical cannabis pilot program now moves to the Senate floor.

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The bill is SB2636.

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