(Springfield, IL) – May 6, 2010. State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) and House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) yesterday announced a huge step forward toward the approval of medical marijuana use in Illinois.
The Illinois State Police is no longer opposed to the legislation.
This is a big deal.
After meeting with Lang and Haine, Captain Timothy Becker of the Illinois State Police informed the lawmakers that the Illinois Department of State Police had changed its position on Senate Bill 1381 from opposition to neutral.
“I am extremely pleased by Illinois State Police’s decision, because it improves the probability of the bill’s approval,” said Lang. “This legislation is intended to alleviate pain in people suffering debilitating medical conditions and the Illinois State Police recognize that,” he said.
Haine said he believed the Department changed its position after carefully reviewing the legislation and recognizing the safeguards will protect patients, caregivers and the public.
“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.
After the State Police announcement, a “no” vote in the House has now switched to a “yes”, according to a legislative source.