|Photo: Marijuana Policy Project
|Julie Falco, a multiple sclerosis patient from Illinois whose doctor has recommended medical marijuana, is featured in a new radio ad.
How will pot play in Peoria? We’re about to find out. Supporters of a medical marijuana law in Illinois on Monday announced the release of radio ads calling on Illinois residents to urge their state representatives to support Senate Bill 1381, which would allow doctors to recommend marijuana to qualified patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other debilitating diseases.
The ad — which will be broadcast in the Chicago, Peoria, Quad Cities, and Rockford media markets — features Chicago resident and multiple sclerosis patient Julie Falco, who has used medical cannabis to ease the pain and muscle spasms associated with her condition.
“I’ve tried many prescription drugs to control the extreme pain I’ve lived with every day,” Falco says in the ad. “However, most of them caused terrible side effects that left me flattened and nonfunctional. I’ve found that cannabis works best for me. It allows better control of my symptoms so I can lead a fulfilling, healthier quality of life.
“In Illinois, though, it’s a crime for me to use my medicine — even though my doctor recommends it,” Falco says in the ad. “Thankfully the Legislature can change that in early January.”
Falco then encourages the 68 percent of Illinois voters who support medical marijuana, according to a 2008 Mason-Dixon poll, to visit protectpatients.org
and ask their state representative to support SB 1381.
“People living with chronic illness should not be criminalized for following doctor’s orders,” Falco says in the ad.
The Illinois House of Representatives voted on SB 1381 on November 30, but when neither side reached a majority, the bill’s sponsor asked for “postponed consideration,” which means the bill could be raised again in early January before the new Legislature is sworn in.
Under the bill, qualified patients could obtain medical marijuana from state-licensed organizations regulated by the state health department, which would also issue medical marijuana ID cards to patients who receive a recommendation from their doctor.
Since 1996, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed similar medical marijuana laws.