A poll released Thursday suggests an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters support the legalization of medical marijuana in the land of Lincoln.
Per a poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 40 percent of respondents said they strongly favored legal medical marijuana and another 23 percent simply favored it, the Capitol Fax blog reported. On the other side of the issue, 25.3 percent of respondents strongly opposed legal medical pot. The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Early last month, a push during the lame-duck session to bring legal medical marijuana to Illinois up for a vote was unsuccessful, though the measure's chief sponsor, state Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, emphasized that failure had nothing to do with a lack of support from his colleagues in the Illinois state legislature.
Lang has wound up several times to get a medical marijuana bill passed in the legislature, narrowly missing the number of required votes each time. The bill was already approved in the state Senate in 2010, but it's the House that has continued to block legislation from moving forward and force supportive lawmakers to make the proposal more strict.
But could that change soon? State Rep. LaShawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, told the Chicago Tribune this week that he is confident the medical marijuana bill will be signed into law during the spring legislative session.
In its most recent form, Illinois' medical marijuana law was considered by the Marijuana Policy Project to be among the most restrictive in the nation. It would allow for qualified patients under medical care to buy and use up to 2.5 ounces of pot during a two-week period as part of a three-year pilot program.