From AP - News Headlines -

IL House Votes Down Medical Marijuana Bill

The Illinois House has once again rejected allowing medicinal marijuana for those with certain medical conditions.

The proposed measure would hae implemented a three-year pilot program for medical marijuana. The program would've allowed people suffering from certain kinds of illnesses, including cancer and AIDS, to receive a prescription for marijuana to help alleviate pain and nausea.

The measure failed on a 61-to-53 vote.

The bill would have barred people from buying the marijuana anywhere except 59 licensed, not-for-profit sellers. But critics argue it sends the wrong message to kids and could make the drug problem worse.

The measure's Sponsor, Lou Lang (D-Skokie), had limited the program to three years and added a provision to allow the purchase only from licensed dispensaries, but it wasn't enough.

"Maybe as many as 100 members believe we should pass a medical marijuana law but for whatever reason are unable to convince themselves to do it," Lang said.

Lang could call the measure for another vote this Spring. He said he believes he has the necessary support, but has to convince enough colleagues to follow through and vote for it.

House Republican Leader Tom opposed earlier versions of the measure, but endorsed it this time it, saying it's only right to help relieve people's suffering.

"Shouldn't we be able to provide to them the best relief and the best available source to do that?" Cross said.

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)