Simon Says: Yes to Medical Marijuana

In Chicago, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says she supports a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana in Illinois.

Simon told The Associated Press Sunday that her initial reaction wasn’t in support, but after hearing from people with illnesses she changed her mind. She says it’s a tightly-restricted plan.

The proposal allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or medical conditions. It’s passed the House and awaits a Senate vote. Gov. Pat Quinn hasn’t indicated if he’ll sign it.

Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering detrimental side effects of other prescription drugs.

Opponents say the program could encourage recreational use, especially among teenagers. The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association are opponents.