SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- An Illinois House committee has approved a measure that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The House Human Services Committee voted 11-4 Wednesday to move the proposal to the full House for consideration.
The measure would allow patients over the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions to obtain marijuana.
Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the illnesses.
Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without triggering the harmful effects that other prescription drugs may commonly cause.
The measure gives a framework for a four-year pilot program that includes requiring patients and caregivers to submit background checks.
But opponents say the program would encourage the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.