Committee rejects medical marijuana proposal

February 16, 2005

Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times

SPRINGFIELD -- An Illinois House committee rejected a proposal to legalize medical marijuana, but not without one activist who testified before the committee being detained by police Thursday.

Irvin Rosenfeld of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., brought 300 marijuana cigarettes to the hearing. Afterward, he was held until police verified that Rosenfeld is authorized by the federal government to use the marijuana.

Rosenfeld told the House Human Services Committee that the marijuana helps him cope with the pain of bone tumors. He urged the committee to legalize it for medical uses in Illinois.

"We're tired of making criminals out of our sick patients," said Rosenfeld, 51.

The new U.S. drug czar, John Walters, also spoke at the hearing. He told the committee that legalizing marijuana would create safety and law-enforcement problems.

"I don't think this is simply about medicine," he said.

The legislation failed on a committee vote of 4-7.



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