Text Size

The Majority Report 9/4/18 - Medical marijuana now alternative to painkillers in Illinois


Harmon plan to tackle opioid crisis now law

harmon 041118A plan to offer patients access to medical alternatives as a means to combat the opioid crisis is now law, making Illinois the first state in the nation to enact such a measure.

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) sponsored the legislation, which creates a pilot program allowing individuals over the age of 21 with any condition for which opioids might be prescribed to apply for temporary access to the state’s medical cannabis program.

“The opioid crisis is getting worse at an alarming rate,” Harmon said. “People dealing with severe pain and other medical conditions are looking for relief, and it is becoming increasingly clear that opioids may not be the safest treatment.”

Under the program, patients will obtain a physician’s certification that they have a condition for which an opioid could be prescribed. They may then take that to a dispensary to receive medical cannabis for a fixed period of time. Read more.


Hutchinson's Industrial Hemp Act becomes law

hutchinson 050918Illinois farmers will be able to cultivate industrial hemp under a plan by State Senator Toi Hutchinson that was signed into law.

“Illinois has some of the best farmland in the Midwest, with fertile agricultural land across all regions of our state,” Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “This new law ensures our farmers have the ability to produce a product that is already available in our stores.”

Industrial hemp has myriad uses, including paper, plastics, textiles and fuel.

The new law creates the Industrial Hemp Act, allowing farmers to apply to the Illinois Department of Agriculture for a license to cultivate and process industrial hemp. Read more.



Cullerton: Governor missed the point of Tobacco 21

jjc 082818Every year, state taxpayers pay millions of dollars in health care costs related to smoking. The best way to cut back on those expenses is to discourage people from ever smoking in the first place.

That was the point behind legislation lawmakers approved earlier this year to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco and vaping products to 21. Senate President John Cullerton said Gov. Bruce Rauner missed that point in vetoing the proposal.

“It is rare that you have the opportunity to cast a vote and save lives. That’s what Tobacco 21 would have done. Preventing children and young adults from smoking is the best way to reduce smoking and the health care costs that come with addiction. I don’t know how the governor could veto that,” said Cullerton, a supporter of the legislation. (Video)

Cullerton said he had personally reached out to Rauner to explain the legislation, the rationale behind it and encourage him to sign it into law. Unfortunately, Rauner vetoed it fearing a loss of customers to neighboring states and loss of sales tax revenue from minors buying tobacco products. Read more.


Illinois at 200

on this day 082918 Wacker smTo mark the countdown to Illinois’ bicentennial on Dec. 3, all this year the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has published daily tributes to the people, places and events that have helped forge the state’s rich history.

From inventors and entertainers to our communities and the Capitol, Illinois has a lot to celebrate.

TLast week’s bicentennial countdown featured the birth of Charles Wacker, namesake of Chicago’s Wacker Drive, in 1856; Hickory Smoke’s win at the Hambletonian Stakes in its inaugural year at Du Quoin in 1957; and the demonstration of the first solar-powered vehicle in Chicago in 1955.

To find all of our historical vignettes, visit I Like Illinois online, on Facebook and on Twitter. #IllinoisProud


In case you missed it


State Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Manar tours Southwestern, gauges school funding reform

State Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: Lawmaker brings push for legal cannabis to La Grange

State Senator Pat McGuire, Joliet: Senate grills U of I on planned innovation center, details lacking

State Senator Kimberly Lightford, Maywood: Two bills sponsored by Lightford signed into law

State Senator Bill Cunningham, Chicago: New school formula pumps $7.6M into local schools

State Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Cleaner trains, school buses to get share of VW settlement

State Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: New law strengthens rights of service members

State Senator Laura Murphy, Des Plaines: Small but mighty crowd at anti-hate rally


Copyright 2018 - Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus - All Rights Reserved

Subscribe to The Majority Report