Illinois State Police No Longer Oppose SB 1381

May 5, 2010, Springfield, IL:  State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) and Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) announced late Wednesday afternoon a breakthrough in the General Assembly’s attempt to enact a bill permitting physicians to recommend patients use medical cannabis to treat their illnesses.

Haine met with Captain Timothy Becker of the Illinois State Police earlier and Becker informed him that the Illinois Department of State Police had changed its position of opposition to Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.  The State Police are now neutral and will no longer oppose the passage of the bill which is on Third Reading in the House.

Lang said he “was extremely gratified by the Department’s change.  We have crafted the most thoughtful, thorough and toughest bill in the nation.  This legislation is intended to alleviate pain in people suffering debilitating medical conditions,” he said.

Haine said he believed the Department changed its position after carefully reviewing the legislation and considering the safeguards it encompasses that are designed to protect patients, caregivers and the public.

Haine also noted that in a number of states, police organizations have removed their objections after a period of observing their laws in operation.

“As a former State’s Attorney, I have the greatest respect for the police organizations of our State and local governments.  This change of position demonstrates what we have known all along, and that is that our State police organization is focused first and foremost on criminal activities as it relates to illegal substances,”  Haine said.

“The State Police’s compassion for the seriously ill matches our own, Lang noted.  No one should be denied medicine that might improve the quality of their life,” Lang concluded.

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