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The times are changing

Thursday, Apr 3, 2014

* Check out this roll call

Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, proposed a bill permitting minors with seizure disorders, including epilepsy, to take a derivative of medical cannabis. It passed 49-5 in the Senate and goes to the House. […]

Sen. David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, whose grandson has as many as 100 seizures in a day, said he was torn about the bill because was concerned about the long-term side effects of marijuana on children.

Martinez responded that the marijuana extract given to seizing children had “no real side-effect,” especially compared to the FDA-approved drugs already on the market for epilepsy. She said that where current drugs fail to cut down on the number of seizures a kid has, marijuana oil has been proven to significantly reduce seizures “in an enormous way.”

But Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, said he wouldn’t vote for the bill because it didn’t specify how the medicine would be taken. Bivins said he opposed the idea of allowing kids to smoke the drug.

Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, came to the defense of the bill, saying the important thing is that marijuana actually works at reducing seizures.

Luechtefeld ended up voting for the bill. Sen. Bivins voted “Present.”

Voting “No” were Republican Sens. Bill Brady, Kyle McCarter, Christine Radogno, Dale Righter and Chapin Rose.

But twelve Republicans voted “Yes.”


Progress is being made, folks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Awesome, dudes and dudettes! Unfortunately, in order to not get primaried as a member of the party of ‘No’, you must always vote ‘No’. But congratulations anyway.

  2. - Pat C - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    marijuana oil has been proven to significantly reduce seizures “in an enormous way.”

    In scientific stuidies? Not really.

    And what there is available is very specifically for an oil that is low in THC. Does the bill state that is only what is allowed?

    Let’s not kid ourselves. Unless that is the case, this isn’t about helping kids.

  3. - spliff - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    A truly classic defense by Jacobs

  4. - Pat C - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Oh, look. The FDA is actually taking action.

    The Food and Drug Administration has authorized trials of an established British drug, Epidolex.

    Why not let the bill say you can take that? If it really IS about helping people…..

  5. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    I didn’t know Martinez was an MD.

    Were these supposed reductions in seizures confirmed in a double blind trial, or are they ad hoc testimonies of a few true believers? Of course the FDA approved drugs have been shown to reduce seizures — to say otherwise shows the height of ignorance. Their side effects might be serious, though.

    Of course the FDA and scientific specialists on epilepsy testified before the committee, didn’t they?

    I support decriminalization, but going back to 18th Century folk medicine drives me nuts.

  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    –Sen. David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, whose grandson has as many as 100 seizures in a day,–

    No feeling sorry for myself today. God bless you, young man.

    You reefer madness goons can stick it. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Ain’t your life.

  7. - Jim'e' - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Gosh, doubting Thomas’s galoor. There are no known dangerous side affects of this, so why all the doubt dudes. I was suprised that Sen B and Sen R voted no. Guess once you set a record of beign NO on everything, you need to keep it up.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    The great thing about marijuana as medicine is that the side effects are not lethal, like other drugs. If kids with horrific seizure problems can be helped with marijuana, as opposed to more-harmful drugs, that’s terrific.

    “Progress is being made, folks.”

    I recently listened to an interview with a NORML spokesperson who said that in the past, when the organization lobbied to change laws, it got little response from politicians. The spokesperson said that nowadays, both Democrats and Republicans are responding to NORML’s outreach efforts.

    Sen. Martinez is my senator, and I thank her for a compassionate bill.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    To the Post,

    To the political, this is what I hope to see when opportunities, legislatively, give themselves to have the GOP Caucuses be diverse, so that an 0-19, or 19-0 tallies do not define My Party, 100% of the time.

    The Bernie Petersens and Mark Beaubiens are welcome in the GOP. This type of vote allows a view of the SGOP to be diverse.

    Yeah, it’s really THAT important.

    Now, rally amongst yourselves, be united in that diversity, the numbers will have a greater chance to grow.

    And to the SGOP Leadership, allowing My Party to be seen as diverse in thought is a nice gift. Use your “whip” when needed, but allowing a voting total like this will reap benefits, if you allow those benefits to see this as a reality.

    Great to see, good on ALL SGOP Members.

  10. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    I find myself with Bivins on this one. The administration of the drug is a key element. Whether you do it in tablets, caplets, syrup, or brownies, there’s got to be a better way than smoking it. This party of “no” business is silly. I don’t think anyone is against proven cures or proven remedies that prevent harmful side effects. As they aren’t dummies who voted for it, they aren’t dummies who voted against it. The more personal things are, the more you’re likely to try anything. Others must act in the interest of everyone.

  11. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    == this isn’t about helping kids.==

    The what is it about?

    == This party of “no” business is silly.==

    On this issue, perhaps. Overall, it’s not silly. They have earned that reputation.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    === == This party of “no” business is silly.==

    On this issue, perhaps. Overall, it’s not silly. They have earned that reputation.===

    4-62 on SSM, yeah My Party owns it, but how about embracing this. I am. Gotta start somewhere.

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    When legislators start making decisions about health based on anecdote rather than science, we’re all in trouble.

  14. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    ==but how about embracing this.==

    I don’t disagree. It’s refreshing to see things like this.

  15. - Nonplussed - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Anonymous, it is very difficult for scientists to even get marijuana to test. There is a big investment in keeping marijuana illegal. It is the gateway in many respects. One article said it is easier for scientists to legally obtain ecstasy to test.

    So you can blame the “establishment” for the fact there aren’t a boatload of double blind studies.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    - Demoralized -, much respect.

    I was addressing the larger picture of the belief that some are in denial that My Party is seen as the “party of ‘No’…”, and agreeing with you take, and not asking you specifically to embrace it, but everyone. hopefully, will take this vote as a beginning of sorts.

    I wasn’t clear. Apologies.

  17. - Pat C - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Anonymous, it is very difficult for scientists to even get marijuana to test.

    Wasn’t too hard for that British company. And of course, there are no drug firms in the Netherlands, are there? Not to mention Japan…..

    There is a reason why we have an FDA.

  18. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    ===So you can blame the “establishment” for the fact there aren’t a boatload of double blind studies.===

    Wonderful. Let’s just jump on some sort of anti-establishment bandwagon. I heard that “argument” frequently from the med-marijuana advocates.

    That’s the argument we should use to (as anonymous says above) “start making decisions about health based on anecdote rather than science?”

    Again, I’m for decriminalization, but let’s not cover that up with layers of fake science to make us feel better.

  19. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    while I am in favor of legalizing marijuana its so called medical uses are mostly made up. if their are real medical uses for the compounds in marijuana they can be created in pill form like other medicinal drugs. The State needs to quit playing the medicinal BS where everyone lies about a condition they have and just legalize and tax marijuana.

  20. - Try-4-Truth - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    My son has epilepsy. This drug could be a game changer. He currently takes Kepera, which has much more powerful side effects than marijuana. And, the THC can be bred out of these marijuana plants so there is no psychotropic qualities at all. No brainer.

  21. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    @fed up:

    Where did you get your medical degree? If there are potential benefits to this then I have zero problem with it. As a parent who has had an acutely sick child I would have welcomed anything that could have helped.

  22. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    - uses are mostly made up. -

    So these parents are just sick individuals that want an excuse to give their kid weed?

    Why don’t you find one of them and let them know? If you’re lucky you can get a script for some Vicodin after your dentist fits you for some new teeth.

  23. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    My biggest problem with this is that the drug apparently isn’t FDA approved,we really don’t know anything about the side effects.

    Are they using this in other states? Has this been studied and historical data? Can the drug be used for recreational purposes? Who can sell this, and how is its manufacture controlled and tested for quality in Illinois? Does it require a prescription from a licensed doctor?

    From the questions asked, it seems like a very poorly prepared bill. The concept seems good and intent conpassionate, but how this is to be controlled is a big deal. It doesn’t sound like the bill provides for this well.

    I can’t fault a legislator for refusing to vote on these bases.

  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    ====the drug apparently isn’t FDA approved,we really don’t know anything about the side effects.===

    The FDA has approved a huge amount of drugs with enormous side effects. Ever seen one of those ads that goes on and on about possible death with a drug that cures a hang nail, or whatever?

    C’mon. People have been smoking marijuana for centuries. Get over it.

  25. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Ok lets get this straight the medicines that are derived from cannabis should not be treated the same as cannabis. Medicines are made from all kinds of substances from jelly fish venom, to bark, to mushrooms, the medicines require a prescription and are handed out at a pharmacy after much testing and approval from the FDA. If their are medicinal uses for marijuana, then the medicinal substances can be derived and put in pill or oil form and treated as legit medicine. The epilespy oil medicine has good stories on it from Colorodo, but whats next having a state Legislature deciede what is medicine instead of the FDA. In 10 years when terrible side effects show up, because of lack of testing who to blame then, State Sen. Martinez cant be held liable.

  26. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Small town Liberal,
    ? If you’re lucky you can get a script for some Vicodin after your dentist fits you for some new teeth.

    I bet your one of those whinny liberals that complains about police abuse of criminals but then advocates violence for a written opinion on a blog.

    And yes, I believe a vast majority of medical Marijuana uses are lies. But hey Coke & tobacco were touted for medicinal purposes also.

  27. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    All of the evidence used to prohibit cannabis in the first place was anecdotal. If you truly are against using anecdotal evidence then you should be questioning the evidence used to prohibit cannabis.

    Industrial hemp is banned because kids might try to get high off of it. Anecdotal without any proof. Hemp is grown in dozens of countries without that problem, including the hemp we import from Canada.

    Then we have Harry Anslinger’s racist anecdotal evidence he gave to Congress for the original marijuana tax stamp act. If black men smoke pot they will rape white women. If white women smoke pot they will have sex with black men. If hispanics smoke pot they will think they can fly and jump off buildings. If Chinese men smoke pot they will assemble and try to overthrow our government.

    Then there’s the anecdotal evidence still used to this day that cannabis usage leads to harder drugs, which we all now know is bearing false witness in order to lock people in cages. More than 50% of the population has tried cannabis, yet, less than half of 1% go on to abuse harder drugs. The gateway theory (anecdotal) is obviously wrong in the real world.

    You really want the FDA to study it? Fine, then take cannabis off of Schedule 1 which allows the DEA to forbid the FDA from doing any scientific testing on cannabis. The FDA has already approved 100% THC pills called Marinol. You can’t get any more potent cannabis than that in this world, and the FDA has approved it as being safe. Marinol isn’t effective, however, because it doesn’t have any of the cannabinoids etc., but the FDA already says 100% THC is safe.

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta no longer believes the anecdotal evidence used to prohibit cannabis and has seen first hand the tremendous help that cannabis oils are to kids with epilepsy. We have real evidence that some kids can go from more than 10 seizures per day before using cannabis, to less than 10 per month after using cannabis. Where is the evidence that locking those epileptic kids’ parents in cages for giving them cannabis is right thing to do?

  28. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    the sad state of kids with seizures makes me weepy and this vote is great progress to help them. hoping for a good vote in the House.

    For some background that I saw weeks ago, CNN had an hour show with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, who was totally against medical marijuana but took another look, especially at Colorado’s work. There’s a strain of super low THC marijuana called Charlotte’s Web, grown in greater quantity for a little girl with severe seizures. her transformation after beginning use of the drug….not by smoking it….is miraculous. It’s compelling tv watching. Also, Israel is doing positive work with cancer patients with medical marijuana and that is interesting too. The CNN program is worth finding on line or On Demand as it covers many of the issues and concerns.

    kids are not give weed to smoke. it’s oil or injections. medicine, you know, like how aspirin is actually a plant derivative. pharmaceutical companies are roaming the jungles of the world to find plants to help with medical issues. Marijuana is a plant which is widely available for treatments if the government will only make it legal for kids.

  29. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    I only hope those of you vehemently opposed to this never have to deal with a situation in which a drug like this might help.

    I would love to know where many of you received your medical degrees.

  30. - danlinn - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    There was NO opposition to this bill in committee. FDA is a racket for big pharma as evident in their approval of drugs with potentially lethal side effects. NIDA has a monopoly on all cannabis for studies and it is only one strain of cannabis and they pretty much only approve studies looking for harms and abuse. How many drug recalls do we need before faith is lost in FDA?

  31. - ryan - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    There is no doubt that public opinion continues to move left on this issue…which is good. From Scott Adams’ blog today: Mostly safe for work…

  32. - Nonplussed - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    Pat C and Walker: If we weren’t talking about marijuana, this would be sold in the botanical product isle next to the St. John’s Wort and Saw Palmetto.

  33. - Pat C - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Marinol isn’t effective,

    Sure it is. For some things. There is scientific proof of that. Controlled tests and such.

    Israel is doing positive work with cancer patients with medical marijuana

    They have plenty of people there who can do the tests and publish them. I await that.

    And I note again. The bill does not at all address that it should be in oil format.

  34. - Ali Nagib - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    The claim that cannabis does not have enough scientific evidence to support its medical uses, whether through standard study or controlled clinical trial is completely incorrect:

    According to a just-published analysis of some 200 newly FDA-approved medications, few conventional drugs are tested in multiple, large-scale clinical assessing safety and efficacy trials prior to market approval. “[A]bout a third won approval on the basis of a single clinical trial, and many other trials involved small groups of patients and shorter durations,” reports the Washington Post in its summary of the study, which appears in the January edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association….By comparison, there exists over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, nearly half of which were published within the last five years, according to a keyword search on PubMed Central, the government repository for peer-reviewed scientific research. Of these, more than 100 are controlled clinical trials assessing the therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids for a variety of indications.”

    Cannabis is a proven medicine. Just because the DEA, NIDA and FDA don’t want to admit it doesn’t make it so.

  35. - Pat C - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    a keyword search on PubMed Central

    Which I just did. Here are the top 10 results. Not sure that this helps your case as much as mine.

    For the record, if the oil really DOES provide relief, by all means lets make it available via prescription by a doctor.

    Manic Psychosis Associated With Ginseng: A Report of Two Cases and Discussion of the Literature.

    Recreational drugs: a new health hazard for patients with concomitant chronic liver diseases.

    Enhanced self-administration of the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 in olfactory bulbectomized rats: evaluation of possible serotonergic and dopaminergic underlying mechanisms.

    Investigation of the in vitro toxicological properties of the synthetic cannabimimetic drug

    Cannabis abuse and age at onset in schizophrenia patients with large, rare copy number variants.

    Changing motives for use: Outcomes from a cognitive-behavioral intervention for marijuana-dependent adults.

    Elevated homocysteine level in first-episode schizophrenia patients-the relevance of family history of schizophrenia and lifetime diagnosis of cannabis abuse.


    Systematic review of N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of addictions.

    Comorbid psychiatric disorders and stages of change in cannabis-dependent, treatment-seeking patients.

  36. - Ali Nagib - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    I’ll let someone else check my math but I’m pretty sure 20,000 is greater than 10.

  37. - fed up - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 2:43 pm:


    “I would love to know where many of you received your medical degrees.”

    The people with the degrees the FDA should be the ones to approve medicines, not a bunch of incompetent State Legislators who have bankrupted Illinois with their idiocy

  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Pat C.

  39. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    @fed up:

    So you have no medical degree. Thanks for the info. That’s all I wanted to know.

    Again, I hope you never have to deal with an illness that might require the use of therapies like this.

    I fall on the side of making a treatment that works for some available. If you don’t like it then don’t use it.

  40. - persecuted - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 6:27 pm:

    I just cannot understand why a law cannot be passed that puts the use of drugs in the hands of medical professionals. No I am not user. Don’t have a dog in this hunt.

  41. - danray - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 7:49 pm:

    It’s weed. lol

  42. - Hemlockroid - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    All blood draws need a warrant separate from what the driver might had promised at time of licensing.
    Goes for weed-DUIs too.
    Doesn’t matter if blood sample was ‘volunteered’.

    Here and in its own courts the State based its case on
    an insistence that a driver who declines to submit to test­
    ing after being arrested for driving under the influence of
    alcohol {and/or weed} is always subject to a non consensual blood test
    without any precondition for a warrant. That is incorrect.”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Illinois EPA Announces Vehicle Emissions Testing Network Updates - New Contract to Offer More Efficient, Less Expensive Tests

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