The Illinois House Human Services Committee approved a measure to legalize the use of medical marijuana on Wednesday, the Huffington Post reports. The final vote came in at 11-4.
The measure now moves to the Illinois House for deliberation.
House member Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who represents all or portions of Skokie and Morton Grove, has been pushing the legalization of medical marijuana for years.
Whenever asked about the possibility of Illinois becoming the nineteenth state to legalize the green leafy substance, Lang is always optimistic.
"Nobody should fear the bill," Lang told Skokie Patch. "This is about quality of life for people."
While the Human Services Committee approved the measure, nothing is set in stone.
“As the State Journal-Register notes, similar legislation failed in the General Assembly over the years — including the most recent lame-duck session in January,” the Huffington Post reported.
However, other states have recently passed similar bills and Lang is hoping Illinois can become the next state to ride the green wave and help those who can seriously benefit from the drug. Recently, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia now allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington have taken it to another level, allowing citizens to smoke pot recreationally.
But for Lang the legalization of medical marijuana isn't about recreation use - it's about helping people who can benefit tremendously from the drug, he said.
"Illinois would be the nineteenth state to pass the bill (the District of Columbia also recently passed the bill)," Lang said. "And of all of those, Illinois will be the most tightly regulated."