Saturday, November 8, 2008

Michigan and Massachusetts Voters Approve Legalizing Marijuana Measures


On Tuesday, Michigan became the 13th state to legalize marijuana prescribed for medical purposes. The measure passed 63 percent to 37 percent. The act is called The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The new law will go into effect 10 days after the election is certified at the end of November. The act allows doctors to prescribe marijuana for certain approved illnesses. It also allows certain qualifying individuals to grow limited amounts of their own marijuana for their personal use and sets up a system of identification cards for qualifying individuals and their primary care givers.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts voters approved decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana by a vote of 65 percent to 35 percent The Massachusetts law replaces the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana of criminal penalties by a system of civil penalties. In addition, offenders would be required to complete a drug awareness program within one year of their arrest.

Illinois does not have any such laws in effect but there currently is a bill pending before the Illinois State Senate, Senate Bill 2865, which would be similar to the Michigan measure passed earlier this week. For a detailed discussed of Illinois Senate Bill 2865 click here. The bill passed the Senate Public Health Committee and is now awaiting a vote on the full floor of the Senate. That vote must happen by January 13, 2009 by Senate rule. If the Illinois measure passes, Illinois would be the 14th state allowing marijuana for medical purposes.

As the law stands today, the possession of Marijuana in Illinois is a crime punishable by several different ways depending on the amount possessed. Click here to read about the Illinois criminal penalties for possession of marijuana.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, visit us at www.thelegaldefenders.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

2 comments:

Nathan said...

Actually, Illinois does have a medical marijuana measure pending -- SB 2865:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2865&GAID=9&GA=95&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=37610&SessionID=51

For a summary of what the "Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Pilot Program" bill would do, go here:

http://www.mpp.org/states/illinois/overview-of-illinois-medical-bills.html

Nathan Miller, Esq.
Marijuana Policy Project

James G. Dimeas said...

The fight continues! The measure passed both committees in the House and the Senate and is now up for a vote before the full legislature. Check out our post of April 20, 2009 and get involved in the final push to enact this much needed legislation.

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