CHICAGO

Medical Marijuana Illinois Doctors Support: Medical Professionals Ask State To OK Legal Weed

Lakewood, CO - MARCH, 4:  Sales associate, Crystal Guess handles a jar of cannabis inside a Good Meds medical cannabis center
Lakewood, CO - MARCH, 4: Sales associate, Crystal Guess handles a jar of cannabis inside a Good Meds medical cannabis center in Lakewood, Colorado, U.S., on Monday, March 4, 2013. This is at a Good Meds medical cannabis center in Lakewood, and is one of the facilities that Kristi Kelly, Co-Founder of Good Meds Network, operates. (Photo by Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The call for legal medical marijuana in Illinois grew stronger Tuesday as nearly 250 physicians asked state lawmakers to legalize pot use for patients with serious illnesses.

Three physicians spoke at a news conference Tuesday to emphasize that marijuana can be a safer and more effective treatment alternative to narcotics for patients with diseases like cancer and HIV, the Associated Press reports.

"We need to replace the patient-dealer relationship with the patient-doctor relationship," Dan Riffle, spokesman for the project, said according to DNAinfo Chicago.

Chicago resident Julie Falco said at the conference marijuana has greatly eased her suffering from multiple sclerosis, DNAinfo reports. Falco said she had recently been emailed by a Lou Gehrig's Disease sufferer named "Dawn" who wanted to see if medical marijuana could help her; the woman turned out to be Dawn Clark Netsch, the former state comptroller who died in March.

Though legislation on House Bill 1 has been gradually tip-toeing along, the full Illinois House could vote on the measure this week.

Earlier, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Lang, along with Sen. Bill Haine wrote an op-ed saying Illinois' bill "can serve as a national model."

A February poll of Illinois residents overwhelmingly supported the legalization of marijuana in the state.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Pot In Chicago: A Timeline
CONVERSATIONS